Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What To Do If You Find Mold On Your Cheese

Since cheese is a fresh item, it can be more prone to developing mold than other types of food. The good news, however, is that just because you found a bit of mold on your cheese, that doesn’t mean you have to throw the whole thing out. Sometimes you can still eat most of the cheese, giving yourself the chance to enjoy its flavors.

Intended Molds

Before worrying about the mold you found on cheese, take the time to consider whether it was intentional. Blue cheese, for example, is intentionally filled with mold; that is what gives the cheese its blue veins. Other cheeses come with molds or rinds around them, including Camembert and Brie. The trick for any cheese with intended mold is to know what it should look like. If you see additional mold that shouldn’t be there, then consider the following guidelines.

Soft Cheese

Soft cheese tends to be fresher than hard cheese and that sadly means that once it is moldy, you are done with the cheese. Another issue with soft cheese is that due to their texture and makeup, the mold can actually send threads in the cheese, meaning that mold in one spot can indicate mold all over. There may even be harmful bacteria in the mold, including E. coli, salmonella, brucella, or listeria. The bottom line is that if you see mold on your ricotta, cream cheese, or cottage cheese, or any cheese which is sliced, crumbled, or shredded, you will need to toss it.

Hard Cheese

If you prefer hard, or even semi-soft, cheeses, then you are in luck. Mold doesn’t have the ability to penetrate into these cheeses so if you see mold, you can simply cut it off and enjoy the rest. That means that if you see mold on your Swiss, Parmesan, Colby, cheddar, or something similar, just cut the moldy area as well as at least one inch in every direction. Take care not to let the knife touch the mold as that would contaminate the rest of the cheese.

Preventing Mold

Although you can keep most of your hard cheese even if it sprouts mold, you will always have to get rid of at least a square inch of cheese, if not the whole thing. This makes it very tempting to do your best to prevent mold growth in the first place, and luckily there are some easy things to do. Start by wrapping your cheese in cheese cloth, parchment paper, or wax paper instead of plastic wrap as the plastic will suffocate the cheese and encourage mold growth. Always swap out the cheese paper when you cut off a piece and change the brine for fresh cheese if it starts to get gross. Those steps will maximize the amount of time you have before your cheese gets moldy.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that. I forgot about some feta and since I bought crumbled I could not cut off the outside...luckily you stopped me from doing something cheap and stupid..next time I'll just buy the bulk chunk..

    By the way, then, can I make some brine myself to store it in? I used to buy a Bulgarian feta that came in brine and lasted, but the store is gone now. And the big chunk I get is dry..and as one person I can't eat ten pounds of feta fast enough no matter how much I do adore it.


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