Brie is a delicious and savory cheese that improves the taste of any dish. From pizzas to nachos and soups, brie cheese can make countless foods taste more delicious.
If there’s one thing to dislike about Brie, then it has to be its price. Brie cheese is so expensive that I can’t blame those who try to stock up on this cheese variety whenever there’s a sale.
So how would you store Brie if you were able to buy loads of it? Should you just put it in the fridge? Or is freezing the best way to extend its shelf life?
What is Brie cheese?
Brie cheese is one of the more than 400 cheese varieties from France. It has a rich and fruity flavor, plus a creamy texture that melts in your mouth. It is not surprising that it is highly-regarded worldwide. I think it’s one of the top three best kinds of cheeses today along with parmesan and mozzarella.
The world-famous original Brie is made in France. The ones you can get in the US are so-called stabilized brie. While it is a good cheese, it’s far from the original. The original Brie can’t be imported to the US since cheeses manufactured with raw milk should be at least 60 days aged to qualify for important, which makes the Brie overripe for consumption.
Can you freeze Brie?
You can freeze this cheese and extend its shelf life up to three months past its sell-by date. However, its texture will suffer the most when you freeze brie cheese. Sure, the cheese will still taste good, but it becomes watery after thawing. This is due to the high water and fat content of the cheese.
As you very well know, water tends to expand when it is frozen. It would contract again when defrosted or thawed. This change affects the consistency of the Brie cheese.
While the texture of thawed Brie is different from that of a fresh one, that doesn’t mean you should not consider freezing the cheese. Maybe the texture is not the same, but the taste of thawed brie would still be delicious, especially if it sits in the freezer for less than three months.
How to freeze brie?
In freezing Brie, I suggest you slice it first in smaller portions. Keep in mind that you can’t re-freeze thawed Brie, so you would be wasting the cheese if you freeze an entire block but only end up using a slice or two of it.
Once you have cut the Brie cheese in smaller portions, take the pieces and double wrap it in a plastic bag. This would prevent the cheese from absorbing flavors of the other foods stored in the freezer. Make sure that the cheese is not exposed to air, as it can lead to freezer burn.
Seal the bag then using a marker, label it with the date when you started freezing the cheese. Place the bag in an area where the cheese won’t get squashed by other foods. It is safe to consume the cheese up to six months, but for the best quality, I suggest you use it within 2-3 months.
How to thaw frozen Brie?
As I mentioned earlier, the change in texture is the biggest letdown when you freeze brie cheese. However, you can still ensure that the cheese retains as much of its shape and texture as possible.
In my experience, thawing cheese in the fridge is the best way to minimize the effects of freezing on the texture and shape of the cheese. Doing so would minimize the condensation forming on the cheese that can damage its texture.
Let the cheese thaw in the fridge for about 24 hours before using it. You can then use the thawed cheese within two days. Don’t re-freeze the thawed Brie cheese.
What to do with thawed Brie cheese?
Don’t worry as there are plenty of recipes where you can use thawed Brie. Take for example this garlic and brie toast that you can prepare during those busy weekday mornings. It’s also filling enough to be eaten during brunch or even lunch.
- Two large slices of bread
- One tablespoon of butter
- Thawed Brie
- One tablespoon of vegetable oil
- Eight mushrooms, sliced
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- Fresh thyme (about six sprigs)
Step by step guide
- Cut the bread in half then toast it on both sides.
- In a frying pan, heat the butter and oil. Put the mushrooms in the pan then fry for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms turn brown and a bit crispy. Lower the heat before stirring in the salt, garlic, and pepper. Cook for another minute before turning the heat to the lowest possible level.
- Put the thawed brie on the toast then place the bread under the grill again to melt. You can then place the toast on a couple of plates.
- Remove little leaves from the thyme and stir them in the garlic and mushrooms. Using a spoon, place them on top of the brie before topping each slice with thyme and black pepper. Serve immediately.
To sum things up, brie is one of the more popular cheeses in the world. But it is a bit expensive so stocking up on it is a common practice.
Freezing it can extend its shelf life by 3-6 months. It may affect its texture but certainly not its flavor. This is particularly true if you properly store it. Wrap the cheese in a plastic bag and store it in the middle of the freezer.