String cheese has become an ideal snack due to its portability and protein content. As a result, some have questioned prolonging its shelf life and if doing so is possible. Fortunately, string cheese freezes quite well but there are some things to keep in mind before stuffing the freezer with this nutritious cheese.
Quality String Cheese
Other than taste preference, the most popular characteristic that string cheese has is the ability to be torn in one direction that is similar to that of crab meat. It has a firm texture when being chewed and has a familiar elongated form.
The quality of string cheese is often defined by the amount of fibrous cheese when it is torn which is also known as its stringiness. This attribute is what has made the snack fun to eat and which is why some may choose to buy string cheese in bulk. This snack can actually also be stored and later used in various recipes as long as it is within the recommended freezing period.
Freezing String Cheese
If one chooses to freeze string cheese, it is possible to store this snack for up to two months. String cheese is known to freeze quite well due to its low water content. Compared to other frozen foods, string cheese has the ability to maintain its original texture throughout the freezing and thawing processes. This means that there is a chance that the freezer will not affect the stringy texture.
It should be noted that texture may have slight differences that are entirely dependent on the string cheese’s brand. Even though the texture will still be stringy, there may be notable differences after thawing like being noticeably brittle or even crumbly. There is even the possibility that the string cheese will develop a rubber-like consistency if the freezing period is exceeded.
Nutritional Value of String Cheese
After freezing string cheese and thawing it in order to be consumed, there is no loss in nutritional value. In general, string cheese is high in protein and calcium among the various vitamins and nutrients that it offers. This, however, is also dependent on the string cheese brand. There are string cheese providers who offer fortified options and these additional benefits will also not be lost in the freezing process.
Block vs Packed String Cheese
While there are different methods to packing individually packaged string cheese and a block of string cheese, their outcomes in terms of potential texture and nutritional value are the same. Individually packed string cheese can be placed in the freezer in their original packaging or re-packed in a Tupperware or plastic bag.
On the other hand, blocks of cheese should be completely wrapped and covered in plastic wrap, aluminium foil, and then a Tupperware or plastic container. Ensuring that the string cheese block is safe in an airtight container will preserve its texture, nutritional value, make it easier to cut it up into more manageable portions, and prevent freezer burn.
Thawing String Cheese
In order maintain a similar texture to fresh string cheese it is recommended to thaw in the refrigerator. Labelling frozen cheese upon putting it in the freezer will ensure that it is thawed and consumed before spoilage can occur.
How Long Can I Freeze String Cheese For?
The recommended time that string cheese should be kept in the freezer is two months. This two-month window gives string cheese a much higher chance of retaining its original taste and texture.
If the two-month period has passed but you still have plans to consume the string cheese, there may be noticeable differences regarding the string cheese’s color and texture. When the optimal freezing period has passed, string cheese may become a darker yellow or have a crumbly and rubbery texture.
In order to quality check your frozen string cheese, one of the first things to do is to look at the cheese. Even string cheese is prone to physically showing if it is past its expiration date with either mold or spots.
It also pays to smell the cheese if you forgot to label the freezing date or have simply rediscovered string cheese in the freezer.
If the frozen string cheese appears to be lacking in mold, a dark yellow color, and does not have an odd smell then tasting a small portion is a final test. If the frozen string cheese passes all three senses, it is still within the two-month freezing period and safe to consume.
Final Freezing Thoughts
In the case that there is an excess of string cheese or there are future recipes where string cheese is an ingredient, freezing is a great way to preserve this snack. Depending on whether the string cheese is a block or has been purchased individually packed, the freezing principles are relatively the same. Make sure that containers are air-tight and always note down the day that the string cheese was frozen.
It is possible to freeze the string cheese for two months but any more than that will result in texture and taste changes that may not be to consumers’ liking. If the string cheese is thawed and consumed within the two-month period, there may be slight textural changes due to string cheese’s low water content. While this is completely normal, it is also dependent on the brand.