So you buy that favorite cheese of yours and served half of it for dinner. Afterwards, you wrap it up in parchment paper and pop it in a piece of tupperware with the complete and honest intention of eating the rest of it tomorrow.
Life gets in the way, you have to work late, your bud calls you out, zombie attack, whatevs; the point is that you forgot. Five weeks later you move that jar of Dijon mustard and you uncover what could possibly be a cheese corpse.
Still, it might not be all bad. There’s the chance the cheese has simply aged well. Very well. Then again it might be death in the form of dairy. These things happen.
So how do you know when your cheese has gone foul? Remember, a lot of the time, cheese is supposed to be stinky… but not in all cases.
- Does it reek of ammonia? If so, your cheese is likely dead. There are some cheeses that actually have a natural faint, ammoniated smell. However, if it is overpowering and it didn’t smell like that when you bought it, AND your cheesemonger didn’t tell you that the ammoniated smell was natural, then that cheese is kaputzky.
- Is the bottom of the cheese wet, soggy, and turning into a sloppy mess? Well, then part of that cheese is bad. Excise the gloppy parts of the cheese and inspect the rest. You can more than likely save your cheese. The wetness generally shows up in younger cheeses that have not been turned. When sitting in the same position for long periods of time, the water sort of shifts around and – following gravity – begins to settle at the bottom of the cheese. Try flipping these younger cheeses over every day to prevent soggy-bottom syndrome.
- If you cut open a cheese and find it has drastically separated from the rind, then toss yo’ cheese. A tiny crack is fine, a crevasse between paste and rind is not. The interior has aged drastically and soured while the rind will be dry and leathery. Neither will give you delicious pleasure.
- Blue cheeses are, of course, laced with mold. The balance between milk, salt, and mold blues can be temperamental. The older a blue gets, the spicier it becomes as the mold devours more milk. Eventually, the mold may become too predominant. This is simply a matter of taste, but all blues eventually cross a threshold of edibility.
- Lastly, what if a foreign mold infects your cheese? This is actually a simple problem to solve: cut off the infected part of the cheese–about 1/4-inch further into the cheese than where the mold is–to get any of the mold’s roots. Place the cheese in a new, clean container and eat within a few days. A spot of mold is nothing to worry about and the cheese can be saved and eaten.
This content was originally posted on FearlessFresh.com.