Maybe you bought a block of feta cheese to make pizza for your family. Or maybe, you got a package of crumbled cheese for trying out a new recipe, and you could only use half of it.
Now you are wondering how to keep the leftover feta cheese. Can it get spoiled? How do you store it properly? How long does feta cheese last?
You can get answers to all your questions here.
Here’s the short answer: Look for changes in appearance, smell, and texture to tell if your feta cheese has gone off. It should be stored in the refrigerator, whether opened or unopened, and you should go by the date on your package, as there is a lot of variation in storage periods.
How To Know If Feta Cheese Has Gone Bad
There are a variety of feta cheeses, such as Greek, French, and Bulgarian feta. Usually, feta cheese is slightly salty and tangy. It has a creamy and smooth texture. You can easily cut it into slices or cubes.
But when it spoils, mold or dark specs develop on its surface. The cheese immersed fully in brine may become slimy or emit a sour odor.
Its texture may change as well – your cheese has depreciated in quality once it starts to crumble easily.
If you notice any of these signs, discard your feta.
How To Store Feta Cheese
Whether you have feta cheese in brine or crumbled feta, both types need to be refrigerated, whether opened or unopened.
Let us discuss the nitty-gritty of both varieties:
How To Store Feta Cheese Blocks
- Keep your feta cheese blocks in their original airtight packaging until you need to use them.
- Once opened, wrap your feta cheese in cling film, then double bag it in a freezer bag or airtight container. Creating this makeshift airtight seal will help your feta cheese not to dry out.
- If you’re determined for your feta to last the longest possible time, immerse it in brine. Mix 1 tsp salt and 1 cup water to make the brine. Make enough brine so that all the leftover cheese can be fully immersed. Pop your cheese and brine in an airtight container, then place that in the refrigerator.
How To Store Crumbled Cheese
- After opening the cheese package and using some of the contents, close the packet or container tightly and put it in the refrigerator.
- If you wish to store your crumbled cheese for a long time, prepare plenty of brine and immerse your cheese in it. Put the tightly sealed container in the fridge.
Now: Your cheese may become too salty because of the brine. Simply rinse it or immerse it in plain water for 30 minutes before serving. The extra salt will go away, and the cheese will taste great again!
Remember to always taste and see how salty your feta is before doing this water treatment. It may not be necessary.
How Long Feta Cheese Lasts
As you know, feta cheese is comprised of goat’s and sheep’s milk. Your cheese package will have a best-before date to tell you how long it will retain its best quality. But you may be able to use it even past that date.
The approximate shelf life at a glance:
- Unopened cheese blocks packed with brine last for 2-3 months.
- Unopened cheese blocks packed with brine last for about two weeks to one month after the best-before date.
- Unopened crumbled feta cheese, not packaged with brine, can remain fresh up to 1 week after the best-before date.
- Opened packages of cheese blocks and crumbled cheese retain their freshness for one month if the cheese is in brine.
- If you wrap the cheese or put it in airtight containers without brine, it can remain fresh for 5 – 7 days.
The Bottom Line On Feta Cheese
If you leave the cheese in the open, it starts to dry out.
What can you do to make it last longer?
Here’s the deal: Don’t leave the leftover cheese as it is after opening the package. Make it a point to immerse it in brine and keep it in sealed bags or airtight containers. All this will prevent it from drying out and retain its freshness.