Gorgonzola cheese is perhaps the most notable of the blue cheeses, which is a whole general classification of cheese. Each of them uses the mold Penicillium in the production process. It’s also why sometimes blue cheeses are called “moldy cheeses”. The mold makes an essential contribution to the appearance, taste, texture, and smell. Penicillium is responsible for the sharp taste, and most noticeably the blue or grey lines or spots that are found throughout the cheese. Even if you’ve never eaten any of the blue cheeses you’re likely at least familiar with how they look.
While the mold is found in all of the types of blue cheese, each individual variety is made in a specific way or in a distinct location.
If you’ve bought too much gorgonzola cheese and are worried that it might go bad before you can finish it, don’t worry because you can certainly freeze gorgonzola cheese. It’s also pretty easy to do it.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about how to freeze Gorgonzola cheese.
Can You Freeze Gorgonzola Cheese?
Yes, you can freeze gorgonzola cheese. It freezes pretty well if you do it correctly. Most importantly, it’s completely safe to freeze it.
Actually, it’s perhaps safer to freeze it than to leave it in the fridge for too long. This is because while there is already mold in the cheese, it can still grow additional harmful mold.
So if you notice white, grey, or blue fuzzy mold then there is some cause for concern. Fuzzy is important because that’s what can differentiate good blue or grey mold from bad mold. However, you can just cut off the affected parts (at least one inch around it) and still consume the rest. That said, you should either use it or freeze it soon because it’s pretty likely that more mold will appear soon if you don’t.
In addition to keeping your gorgonzola safe from unwanted mold, it’s also pretty easy to freeze and you can freeze it in its various forms too.
Whilst it’s easiest to freeze it is if it’s in a wedge or large chunk, you can freeze it as crumbles, or any other form your Gorgonzola might be in. However, each form has its own method of freezing and may be affected differently when frozen.
How Does Freezing Affect Gorgonzola?
Gorgonzola is unique as it finds itself somewhat in between soft and hard cheeses as it’s not as hard as say cheddar but not as soft as brie or cottage cheese.
According to the adage, “the harder the cheese, the better the freeze” it’s not going to freeze as well as a harder cheese but it will be better than its softer counterparts. Also, whether it’s crumbled or in a chunk can determine how well it freezes.
As it’s somewhere in the middle of the ‘very hard’ to ‘very soft’ cheese spectrum there is a decent amount of moisture in the cheese that can affect it.
This is because when the water molecules inside the cheese freeze, they create crystals within the cheese. This freezing and the thawing before it’s used can slightly change the texture and perhaps even the taste of the cheese. It’s possible that it becomes crumblier after it’s been frozen and thawed.
If you have crumbled gorgonzola then the problem is slightly different. As there is more surface area, there is an increased risk of freezer burn and ice crystal formation.
This is because you’ll likely store it in freezer-safe containers rather than tightly wrapping it as you would with a chunk or wedge. This is, of course, more practical than trying to wrap crumbles, however, using freezer bags is a way to combat this.
How to Freeze Gorgonzola Cheese
Freezing gorgonzola is a great way to extend its shelf life. This is similar to other cheeses, as almost all cheeses are better frozen than discarded. Even if it’s not quite as good as when it’s fresh, it’s better than in the garbage.
With gorgonzola, freezing can extend its life span by over six times! If kept in the fridge it can last for form three to four weeks. But if you freeze it, it will still be good for up to six months!
Let’s get into how you can freeze both blocks of gorgonzola and crumbled gorgonzola. Both ways are pretty straightforward.
How to Freeze Gorgonzola Block/Wedge
There are only a few steps for freezing a block of gorgonzola.
- First, prepare the portions of cheese that you’ll likely use. I always recommend making more portions if you’re unsure. This is because it’s easier to defrost more portions for your needs rather than have to defrost too much and risk wasting it.
- Wrap each portion of cheese in either freezer paper or aluminum foil.
- Place the wrapped gorgonzola into a heavy-duty freezer-safe bag or airtight container that’s suitable for the freezer.
- Label the containers and place them in the freezer. As I said before, for the best quality use it within six months.
Note: also consider how you’ll likely use it and prepare it beforehand. For example, before you freeze it, cut it into cubes if you’ll use it on a salad, or slice it if you’ll use it on a sandwich. This is because since it becomes crumblier after it’s been frozen, it’s much more difficult to cut or cube successfully after it’s been frozen.
How to Freeze Crumbled Gorgonzola
The process is just as easy, if not easier, for crumbled gorgonzola as you don’t need to worry about how you’ll prepare it. But you should aim to use it within a shorter period of time – closer to two or three months rather than six.
- Portion the amount of crumbles accordingly to your best guess of how you’ll use it. Remember more portions are better (unfortunately I haven’t found a nice rhyme for this phrase yet).
- Pack them into freezer-safe containers or freezer-safe bags. But if possible, a vacuum-sealed freezer bag is the best as it provides the best protection against freezer burn. But if that’s not possible just try to remove as much air as possible before sealing them.
- Label the bag or container and place them in the freezer. Try to use them within a couple of months.
When Should You Freeze Gorgonzola?
You shouldn’t put gorgonzola cheese in the freezer if it’s been sitting around for too long. You should try to freeze it as soon as possible. Certainly before it’s starting to go bad. Similarly to other foods, the earlier you put it into the freezer, the better the outcome.
How Can You Tell if Gorgonzola Has Gone Bad?
As gorgonzola has a pretty strong smell as well as already containing mold, it can be a bit trickier to tell if it’s gone bad. Generally, though, you can tell if it’s gone bad if it’s developed a very hard texture, if it’s darkened in color, it smells similar to sour milk, or if there is a lot of mold or it’s become slimy.
How to Defrost Gorgonzola
Before you use your frozen Gorgonzola, you’ll need to first defrost it. You can either defrost it in the fridge, microwave, or in cold water.
To defrost it in the fridge you simply put the cheese in the fridge and wait, usually overnight does the trick. If you defrost it in the fridge it can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days.
To defrost it in the microwave you should unwrap the cheese and microwave it on the lowest setting for 30-second increments until it’s defrosted. And lastly, you can defrost it with cold water by submerging the cheese in cold until it’s defrosted. This really only works if it’s been stored in an impermeable freezer-safe bag, however.
If you defrost Gorgonzola in the microwave or by setting it in cold water, you should use it immediately after it’s been defrosted.
How to Use Gorgonzola Cheese After Freezing
While there are many ways to use gorgonzola that’s been frozen, since it loses a little bit of quality I don’t recommend serving it as-is to guests, crumbled on top of salads, or for a special occasion.
Rather, it’s best used when it’s combined into something else so there isn’t so much focus on the taste and texture of the gorgonzola cheese. This is just a suggestion, however. It’s possible that the tiny change in taste and texture isn’t noticeable. Feel free to use it as you wish.
Here are some things that I recommend using thawed gorgonzola in because it adds its great taste to the dish without being able to tell that it’s been frozen at all:
- Make a dip
- Use as a pizza topping
- Add to pretty much any pasta sauce of your choice
- Add to paninis or other warm sandwiches
- Use in a casserole
- Add to soups
Can You Refreeze Gorgonzola?
Gorgonzola shouldn’t be frozen again after it’s already been defrosted. The quality and of the taste and texture will likely suffer even more. This is why I recommend having more portions than too few.