Cabrales cheese is a fat-enriched cheese also referred to as blue cheese, known for its strong scent and flavor. Cabrales cheese originates back from eastern Austria and Spain. It is an expensive delight and is enjoyed with different cuisines.
Cabrales cheese is made from cow, goat, or sheep milk at a temperature of 8-12°C, in chilly and humid conditions natural mountain caves. Its production is preferred in the summer and autumn seasons.
Like every other cheese, the more it ages, the more it tastes better. However, it can be affected by mold growth due to moisture in the environment and yeast. You can still reuse it by removing the affected part.
How to Store Cabrales Cheese?
Cheese is usually wrapped in a plastic-wrapped or an air-tight container to check if there isn’t any mold growth. If stored carefully, then it can extend its shelf life. There are different methods applied to store Cabrales cheese on a commercial and domestic level.
Cabrales cheese is usually aged in the mountain caves of Austria. The mild temperature and the chilly, humid environment help the cheese develop its scent, flavor, and unique blue color.
The cheese is placed onto wooden shelves in the caves to be aged up to 10 months. The cheese is washed and flipped over after few days. Higher altitude has a good effect on cheese production.
On a commercial scale, incubators are used to store Cabrales cheese. Temperature can affect the taste of cheese so, a controlled temperature of 4-10°C is maintained. Sampling is conducted at regular intervals to maintain the environment for good quality cheese.
The cheese is stored in plastic bags to supervise any mold growth. If any portion is affected by mold, then that particular portion is discarded to save the rest of the cheese.
You can also freeze the cheese to increase the life span of cheese up to 8 months. Freezing cheese will turn it into rock solid. You have to wait for 15 minutes to let it turn back normal to utilize it in food.
Freezing should be done in the quantity that you will completely use later. Refreezing can meddle in the taste and texture of cheese.
On a domestic scale, Cabrales cheese is usually stored in refrigerators. Refrigerators increase the life span by 3-4 weeks.
To store it in refrigerators, you need to wrap it carefully in a plastic sheet or aluminum foil and put it in the refrigerator. Make sure that you wrap dry cheese, or it will result in mold growth.
Can You Freeze Cabrales Cheese?
Yes, you can freeze Cabrales cheese. On a commercial scale usually, freezing is the most common method to store Cabrales cheese. Make sure to double wrap cheese to avoid any mold or yeast growth that may spoil the whole cheese.
Cabrales cheese is expensive and is manufactured in Spain and Austria. It is not commonly found in marts in different regions, and in some areas, it may need to be imported, so freezing is the best way for long storage.
Usually, restaurants slice cheese into pieces and then freeze it; thus, there is no cheese left to refreeze. If any cheese is left, then it is rewrapped carefully and refreeze. However, there might be a minor change in flavor and texture.
Cabrales cheese contains milk fats; freezing and thawing can cause it to lose its creaminess.
How Long Does Cabrales Cheese Last?
The life span of Cabrales cheese depends upon the environment and storage it is kept in. In a cold region, it can last up to 1-2 months. In hot regions, it can last from 3-4 weeks in a refrigerator. Leaving on the counter, it may last for a couple of days. The moisture can cause mold and yeast.
It is suggested to store Cabrales cheese in a separate container. In this way, it will refrain from the spread of mold from and to other vegetables in the refrigerator and increase the life span of cheese.
How To Tell If Cabrales Cheese Is Bad?
Like everything, Cabrales cheese also has an expiry date. There are a couple of indications which you can follow to check if your cheese is consumable or not.
- Appearance: The first thing you can do is check if the texture is changed or there is mold or yeast development on cheese. If the cheese has mold on different spots, discard it; otherwise, you can cut the area and use the rest of the cheese. The creamy part of cheese may give a pinkish shade.
- Smell: You can use your nose to check if the cheese has an irregular odor. An expired cheese may have a smell of ammonia.