There are many types of cheeses, from mozzarella to Bulgarian feta cheese, each with its own flavor and appearance, and feta cheese is unique from the rest with its texture and taste. This Greek cured cheese, made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep and goat’s milk, usually comes packaged in a brine solution. How long is feta cheese good for, and what’s the ideal way to store this cheese?
Feta cheese is a white cheese produced in Greece that is now popular worldwide. The tangy, salty flavor of this soft cheese ranges from mild to sharp, and it is delicious crumbled over soups and salads or served with deli meats, crackers, and other soft and hard cheese varieties.
While feta cheese is available in the cheese aisle at the grocery store, the best quality cheese is often found at the deli. Wherever you purchase your feta, it’s vital to store it properly for the longest shelf life, whether you have crumbled feta cheese or a block of feta cheese.
The Shelf Life and Storage Methods of Feta Cheese
Does feta cheese go bad? The shelf life of feta cheese varies depending on whether it is a block of cheese or crumbled feta. Its expiration date also changes if it’s opened or unopened. It’s helpful to understand how to store-feta-cheese to prevent spoilage.
We often put out cheeses when having guests over, and we sometimes forget to put them back in the refrigerator. How long can feta cheese sit out, and how long does it last in the fridge or freezer? Discover the many ways to store this cheese and how to tell when they go bad.
Does Feta Cheese Go Bad?
You have a package of feta cheese sitting in the fridge, and you’re unsure how long it’s been there. Does feta cheese go bad? Unfortunately, all cheeses expire at some point. Learn how to tell if your block or crumbled feta is spoiled.
Bad Feta Cheese
The best way to check if cheese is bad is to use your senses, and there are three ways to go about this. First, examine the cheese to check for color changes and mold. If it is no longer white or appears gritty and grainy, it’s ready for the trash.
The second way is to smell the cheese. If it has a rotten, sour, or vinegary scent, it’s no longer edible. Finally, touch the feta and check the texture. This cheese type dries out over time, and hard or rubber feta cheese is spoiled.
How Long can Feta Cheese Sit Out?
There are many reasons to have cheese sitting out at room temperature, whether you forget to refrigerate the cheese after grocery shopping or put out a cheese plate for snacking. How long can feta cheese sit out of the refrigerator?
Can cheese be left out? Feta cheese can only stay at room temperature for up to two hours. However, there are ways to ensure it is safe to eat during this time if you’re having a party or enjoying a personal cheese board.
Leave the cheese in the refrigerator until the moment you’re ready to eat it. If you must leave the cheese sitting out on the table or counter, consider placing the tray over a bowl of ice cubes to keep the cheese as chilled as possible.
How Long is Feta Cheese Good for in the Refrigerator?
The refrigerator is the best area to keep many kinds of cheese. However, they still have a limited shelf life. Find out how to store feta cheese in the fridge and its shelf life based on the storage method you choose.
Always keep a block of cheese and crumbled feta unopened in its original packaging until you’re ready to consume it since opening the cheese shortens the shelf life. Unopened, brined feta cheese lasts up to six months, while an opened package only lasts about a month.
Unbrined cheese and cheese blocks last a month or so unopened and five days after unpackaging. After opening blocks of frozen feta cheese, do not wrap them in plastic wrap or a paper towel. Instead, keep them in a sealed container with cold water during refrigeration.
Can You Freeze Feta Cheese?
It’s tempting to purchase more cheese than is possible to eat before it spoils. Can you keep feta cheese in the freezer to extend its shelf life? Fortunately, this cheese holds up well to the freezing process. Freezing mozzarella cheese for freshness purposes also works.
If you plan on freezing opened feta cheese, do not freeze it in a brine bath or olive oil. Instead, place the cheese in a freezer bag or freezer-safe plastic container and keep it in the freezer for up to one month. If you purchase the feta in brine, it’s safe to freeze without opening it, and it lasts up to six months.
To thaw feta cheese, remove it from the freezer and set the container or freezer bag in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to use the cheese, place it in your own brine after thawing and refrigerate it. Thawing is unnecessary if you plan on using the feta in soup or stew or as a hot pasta topping.
Making Homemade Preservatives to Store Feta Cheese
If you purchase a tub of feta cheese from the store, you’ll notice it often comes in a brine preservative, which helps the cheese last longer. However, it’s easy to make a homemade preserving solution if your feta isn’t brined.
To store your feta in brine or to keep goat cheese fresh, pour enough cold water into an airtight container to submerge the cheese. Add a teaspoon of kosher salt for each cup of water and stir the liquid until the salt dissolves. Place the feta block or crumbled feta into the container, seal the lid, and keep it in the fridge for up to a month.
If you can’t stand the taste of brine, cut the feta block into small pieces and place them or crumbled feta into an airtight container. Pour olive oil over the cheese to submerge it, pop the lid in place, and store it in the fridge. To give your cheese different flavors, consider adding tarragon, rosemary, or other herbs to the oil.
Another option for preserving feta cheese is soaking it in a milk bath. Pour enough milk in a container to cover the cheese and add a teaspoon of salt for each cup of milk. Submerge the cheese in the milk bath, cover it with a lid and refrigerate it, refreshing the milk every two days.
There is nothing better than a block or tub of good feta to complete a charcuterie board. However, it’s essential to take steps to help feta cheese last longer and understand the signs of spoilage to ensure that you get the most out of this unique cheese.
Now that you know the answer to how long is feta cheese good for using varying storage methods, why not share our feta cheese storage guide and techniques with the cheese-lovers in your life on Pinterest and Facebook?