I have a secret to tell you regarding camembert cheese. And no, it’s not that my fridge is literally full of it… It’s that I actually didn’t like the taste of camembert cheese when I first tried it. It actually took me some years (yes, years!) to embrace the creamy goodness of camembert.
When my friend first shared some with me I wasn’t too well-versed in the international cheese scene. I’d only barely heard of it, let alone had tried it. When I did, I was pretty disappointed after he had hyped it up so much and for me, it fell flat. I was more than content with hard cheese like swiss, cheddar, and jack.
But, that was the old me. The new me is in love with camembert! A summer afternoon with a glass of wine accompanied by camembert? Yes, please!
If you enjoy it as much as me it’s understandable that perhaps you need to store the extra camembert you bought. The good news is that yes, you can freeze camembert cheese!
How Long Does Camembert Cheese Last?
Bloomy rinded cheese like camembert and brie last longer than fresh cheese. However they don’t last nearly as long as hard cheese due to the higher moisture content.
Whether you store it in a fridge or freezer will determine how long camembert cheese lasts.
Since there’s an aging process involved it’s hard to say exactly how long it lasts, but you can expect camembert cheese to last from 3 to 6 weeks in the fridge.
If you decide to freeze camembert you can definitely expect the shelf life to increase. Frozen properly, it can last up to 3 months in decent condition.
Similar to some other foods, it’s safe to eat even if it’s been stored longer than that. But the longer it’s in the freezer, the more the condition of the cheese will deteriorate.
Does Camembert Cheese Freeze Well?
Since it has a higher moisture content, as previously mentioned, it can impact the quality of the cheese when it’s frozen.
This is because foods with higher water content change when the water crystals form. This is why things like berries that have a very high water content are just a shell of themselves after they have been defrosted.
The same thing goes for camembert cheese. While it doesn’t have the same devastating effect on the texture as with berries, there’s a noticeable difference in the taste, texture, and appearance of the cheese after it’s been frozen.
If you freeze it well, you can help to keep it from deteriorating too much. However there will still be a loss in quality.
So I would recommend that after it’s been frozen, instead of eating it by itself and uncooked, it’s best used incorporated into a separate dish, melted, or baked.
Pros and Cons of Freezing Camembert Cheese
If you’re thinking about freezing camembert you should be aware of both the pros and cons of doing so and how the camembert cheese can be affected by freezing it.
You can buy loads of it and not worry that it’ll go to waste. Okay, so I wouldn’t totally recommend always buying tons of it because, hey, it’s still better fresh than defrosted, right? But if you find a great deal or it’s only on sale briefly then I would say go for it! This way you can have some at home at all times if you want to whip something up that includes camembert.
It stays safe to eat without having to worry. If you want to use it for something in the future but don’t know exactly when and the expiration date is creeping up on you, you can freeze it and keep it safe to eat.
Extend Shelf Life
Of course, in this same vein, the shelf-life is also extended. So if you did go and buy 3 Costco packs of camembert that you can’t eat all at once, then you can freeze it with peace of mind that it won’t go bad. It stays good for a very long time. You can store it almost indefinitely if you’re prepared for reduced quality. This may not be such an issue if you plan on melting it down and using it in a recipe combined with other things.
It reduces food waste. One of the worst things in the world is having to throw away cheese. So if you didn’t eat all of the camembert you put out for a charcuterie board, don’t worry, you can freeze it and give the camembert a second life!
Camembert can go from being soft and creamy to crumbly and rubbery after freezing. This can happen no matter how long you freeze it for, but the longer it’s in the freezer the more it may be affected.
Like its texture, its flavor will also change. It may lose some of its flavor but it won’t be such a big difference compared to the change in texture.
While there are only 2 cons of freezing camembert cheese, they are quite significant. They can play a big role in how you use the cheese after it’s defrosted, as flavor and particularly texture are important when eating cheese.
How to Freeze Camembert Cheese
Since camembert is a pretty delicate cheese it’s important that if you are to freeze it, it should be done in a proper manner for the best results.
It can take a bit of time, but it’s a pretty straightforward process to properly freeze camembert cheese. Additionally, the quality of the cheese plays an important role as well. If it’s aged too much and is beginning to crack or become too dry then it’s not ideal to freeze it.
It should also not be too soft either and may need to “ripen” before you freeze it. To do this it just needs to be kept in the fridge for a couple of days until it hardens slightly. Then, you are ready to freeze the camembert cheese.
- Cut the camembert into the desired portions. This is important as you definitely shouldn’t thaw and refreeze camembert. So you should only take out the desired amount of camembert that want. This is why portioning is important and you should keep in mind what you may use it for in the future.
- Wrap each piece in aluminum foil and then wrap the piece again in plastic wrap. This is for two reasons. First, it helps to keep out unwanted moisture and can keep it as fresh as possible. And second, it keeps the smell in. While I love camembert, I certainly don’t want my freezer stinking of it.
- Put the pieces inside a freezer bag or freezer-safe container and label it with the date and put it in the freezer. It’s a bit safer inside of a container to prevent the cheese from accidentally being squished by other items but it also allows for more air trapped with the cheese. I recommend vacuum sealing a plastic bag if possible and then carefully placing the camembert in a safe place. This will keep it at the highest quality possible.
How to Defrost Camembert Cheese
These are perhaps the most difficult steps of all. Because you want to enjoy the camembert that you have stored away like a squirrel stores its nuts, but first it will require some patients and planning to do so. This is because the defrosting process takes time.
- Take the desired amount of camembert pieces out of the freezer and place them in a bowl. This is to prevent water from dripping in your fridge.
- Place the bowl in the fridge and let it rest for up to 24 hours. Yes, 24 hours! However, the exact time will depend on the size of the portions you cut. Obviously the larger the pieces, the longer it will take.
- When you remove the aluminum foil make sure to carefully examine each piece to see if any aluminum got stuck to the cheese.
How Long Does Defrosted Camembert Cheese Last?
After you defrost camembert cheese, you should use it as soon as possible. I would only wait 3 days max but even less is better.