Dairy products are high maintenance, in that they need to be stored in a certain way. Too warm and they spoil, too cold and they lose flavour. So what’s the best way to keep your dairy products fresh and flavourful, especially when they’re purchased in bulk?
Our resident chef, Chef Darryl Fletcher (better known as “Chef D”), says it’s all in the storage:
- Sour cream can be frozen without affecting the flavour. Be sure to use it for baking rather than in a beef stroganoff recipe, as the sour cream separates when thawed (in baking it melts and clings to the flour). Place it in smaller containers to prevent it from drying out.
Pro tip: anything low-fat breaks down, so be sure not to freeze low fat sour cream.
- Butter will last up to one month in the refrigerator and up to eight months in the freezer. Just remember that butter takes on other flavours that might be in your walk-in, so cover tightly with plastic wrap or store it in a plastic container.
- Cottage cheese can be frozen, but because it absorbs flavours easily, be sure to double wrap it or seal it well. Remember, because of the high moisture content it will separate when thawed, so use it in baking or lasagna for best results.
- Cheese can be placed in the freezer for up to two months—but only if it’s shredded. Block cheese becomes crumbly once thawed, so it’s best to shred it by hand, place it in a freezer bag, and take it out as needed.
- Milk will only last around seven days in the fridge. If you’re not using it at a fast enough rate, you can place it in the freezer for approximately one to two months. Once you’ve removed it, let it thaw and then beat or shake well, as the contents may have separated.
“Always remember to use the ‘first in, first out’ method”, says Chef D. “This ensures you’re using the oldest items first, and helps avoid food spoilage.”