Are you a cheese lover who’s always wondered whether Asiago cheese needs to be refrigerated?
You’re not alone! With so many different types of cheeses out there, it can be hard to know which ones require refrigeration and which ones don’t.
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of storing Asiago cheese, including how long it lasts, how to tell if it’s gone bad, and whether or not you can freeze it.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to become an expert on all things Asiago cheese!
Does Asiago Cheese Need To Be Refrigerated?
The short answer is yes, Asiago cheese needs to be refrigerated. This is because it is a perishable food that can spoil quickly if left at room temperature.
Whether the cheese is opened or unopened, it should always be stored in the refrigerator. This will help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and molds, and will keep your cheese fresh for longer.
If you have too much Asiago cheese and want to store it for a longer period of time, you may consider freezing it. However, it’s important to note that freezing can affect the texture and flavor of the cheese.
What Is Asiago Cheese?
Asiago cheese is a semi-hard Italian cheese that is made from cow’s milk. It originated in the Asiago plateau region of Italy and has been produced there since the 10th century.
There are two types of Asiago cheese: fresh and aged. Fresh Asiago cheese is soft and creamy, with a mild flavor. It is typically used in salads, sandwiches, and as a topping for pizzas. Aged Asiago cheese has a harder texture and a stronger flavor. It is often grated and used as a seasoning for pastas, soups, and other dishes.
Asiago cheese is a good source of protein and calcium, making it a nutritious addition to your diet. However, it is also high in fat and sodium, so it should be consumed in moderation.
To store Asiago cheese, it should be wrapped tightly in wax or parchment paper and stored in the refrigerator. Fresh Asiago cheese should be used within two weeks of purchase, while aged Asiago cheese can last for up to six weeks in the fridge. If mold appears on the cheese, it can still be used by trimming off the affected area and rewrapping it in fresh paper. Aged Asiago cheese can also be frozen for up to a year, but should be used within a few days of defrosting.
How Long Does Asiago Cheese Last?
The shelf life of Asiago cheese depends on whether it is fresh or aged. Fresh Asiago cheese typically lasts for about 10-15 days in the refrigerator, while aged Asiago cheese can last for up to 2-3 weeks. It’s important to note that these time frames are just estimates, and the actual shelf life of your cheese may vary depending on factors such as storage conditions and the quality of the cheese.
If you have an opened chunk of Asiago cheese, it can last for about 4-6 weeks in the refrigerator if stored properly. To maximize its shelf life, wrap the original packaging tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. For even better results, wrap the cheese first in wax or parchment paper and then cover with plastic wrap before refrigerating.
If you notice mold on your Asiago cheese, don’t panic. You can still salvage it by cutting away at least 1 inch around and below the moldy area (without touching the mold with the knife) and re-covering the cheese in fresh wrap. However, if mold appears in a package of shredded, sliced, or crumbled Asiago cheese, it’s best to discard the entire package.
You can also freeze Asiago cheese for longer storage. Grate the cheese before freezing and place it inside an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. Properly stored, Asiago cheese will maintain its best quality in the freezer for about 12-18 months, but will remain safe beyond that time. If you thaw frozen Asiago cheese in the fridge, it can be kept for an additional 3-4 days before using. However, if you thaw it in the microwave or in cold water, it should be used immediately.
How To Store Asiago Cheese Properly
Proper storage of Asiago cheese is crucial in maintaining its freshness and flavor. Here are some tips on how to store Asiago cheese properly:
1. Keep it in the refrigerator: Always store Asiago cheese in the refrigerator, whether it’s opened or unopened. This will help to slow down the growth of bacteria and molds that can spoil the cheese.
2. Wrap it tightly: Once you’ve opened the cheese, wrap it tightly in waxed or parchment paper before placing it in a resealable plastic bag. This will help to prevent moisture from building up and prevent the cheese from drying out.
3. Use plastic wrap as a last resort: If you don’t have waxed or parchment paper, you can use plastic wrap to wrap the cheese. However, make sure to wrap it tightly and cover it completely to prevent air from getting in.
4. Store it in the vegetable crisper: Store your wrapped Asiago cheese in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator, where the temperature is cold and stable.
5. Check for mold: If you notice any mold on the cheese, cut away at least 1 inch around and below the moldy area (do not touch mold with the knife) and re-cover the cheese in fresh wrap.
6. Freeze it properly: If you want to freeze Asiago cheese, grate it first and place it inside an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. It can last for up to 6 to 12 months in the freezer, but keep in mind that freezing can affect its texture and flavor.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your Asiago cheese stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible.
How To Tell If Asiago Cheese Has Gone Bad
Asiago cheese, like any other dairy product, can eventually spoil. The first and most obvious sign that your Asiago cheese has gone bad is the presence of mold that’s not natural to that kind of cheese. If you notice mold on the cheese, don’t discard it right away. Instead, if it’s in a block form, you can cut out the moldy part and then some. When doing so, make sure the knife doesn’t touch the mold, so you don’t contaminate the rest of the block. However, if there’s mold on shredded Asiago cheese, it’s best to throw out the entire container.
Another sign that your Asiago cheese has gone bad is a change in smell or texture. If it starts to smell sour or off in any way, or if it develops a very hard texture, it’s probably time to throw it out. Also, if the cheese doesn’t look as good as it used to or its taste has deteriorated, it’s likely that it has gone bad.
It’s important to note that hard cheeses like Asiago may dry out over time, especially if not stored properly. While the dry part is perfectly edible, it may not be as tasty as fresh cheese. In this case, you can either cut off the dry part and discard it or use it for melting where the dryness won’t be as noticeable.
Can You Freeze Asiago Cheese?
Yes, you can freeze Asiago cheese. Freezing can be a great option for those who have excess cheese and want to store it for a longer period of time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the texture and flavor of the cheese may be affected by freezing.
When freezing Asiago cheese, it’s best to grate or dice it first and then place it in an airtight container or freezer bag. This will help to prevent freezer burn and keep the cheese fresh for longer. It’s also important to avoid frequent freeze-thawing as this can cause the cheese to become crumbly and grainy.
It’s worth noting that not all types of cheese freeze well. Block cheeses such as cheddar, provolone, Swiss, or Monterey Jack freeze well because they are solid and have a low moisture content. Aged cheeses such as Parmesan, Asiago, or Pecorino also freeze well and can even benefit from freezing as it helps to preserve their flavor and prevent mold growth.
Soft cheeses, on the other hand, are more difficult to freeze due to their high moisture content. Cream cheese is an exception and can be frozen successfully. Overall, if you’re considering freezing Asiago cheese, it’s important to take into account the potential changes in texture and flavor and use the frozen cheese in cooked dishes rather than as a standalone snack.