Freezing Blanco Fresco and Other Cheeses

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  Can I freeze a Spanish cheese called "Blanco Fresco," made by a company named Cacique. It is a firm cheese. This cheese is hard to find here in Oklahoma, so when I do find it I purchase two or three blocks and cannot use it all before the expiration date. Please help — I have one out in the refrigerator now.

  There are varying opinions on freezing cheeses. Everyone agrees that hard, aged cheeses don't need to be frozen since they will benefit from continuing to age in your refrigerator. Fresh cheeses, such as mozzarella and goat cheeses, can be frozen for a couple of months. Some people avoid freezing soft-ripened cheeses, such as brie, while others happily do so. Semi-soft cheeses, such as Bel Paese and Havarti, can become crumbly after being frozen. Mascarpone and ricotta may separate after being frozen and can be reconstituted, but some people say they suffer in the process.

In general, though, any cheese can be frozen. Of course, you want to thaw them gently in the refrigerator for a day or two before eating or cooking with them. If you find the texture has changed after thawing and you find it unacceptable, don't freeze the same cheese in the future.

Cacique, founded in 1973 and based in La Puente, California, claims to be the leading producer of Hispanic cheeses and the No. 1 selling brand of Mexican-type cheeses in the world. It's goal is to blend the best of modern cheese-making technology with old-world cheesemaking traditions. The company markets an extensive line of cheeses, cheese blends, creams & sour creams, and Mexican sausages (chorizo). In the Midwest (and apparently also Oklahoma) the company's cheeses are sold under the Cacique brand. Elsewhere in the country, you'll find them as Ranchero-brand cheeses.

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