You have a question regarding blue cheese storage, shelf life, or going bad. Perhaps you want to know how long blue cheese lasts or how to detect if yours is spoiled.
Table Of Contents−
- What exactly is blue cheese?
- What does blue cheese look like?
- Isn’t Blue Cheese a Mold?
- Is mold present in blue cheese? Is it safe to consume that mold?
- How Long Will Blue Cheese Last?
- How Long Does Blue Cheese last in the Refrigerator?
- How long can you keep blue cheese crumbles at room temperature?
- How long can you keep blue cheese crumbles in the freezer?
- Is it possible for blue cheese to go bad? How Do You Know If Blue Cheese Is Bad?
- Can You Eat Blue Cheese After It’s Expired?
- Is it possible to become sick from eating blue cheese?
- How to Store Blue Cheese
- Is it necessary to keep blue cheese refrigerated?
- Is it possible to freeze blue cheese?
- Blue cheese freezing instructions
- Dressing with Blue Cheese
- How Can You Tell If Your Blue Cheese Dressing Is Bad?
Does this sound familiar?
This article will teach you all you need to know about working with blue (or “bleu” cheese, if you want to sound posh) cheese at home. Of course, these suggestions work for well-known blue cheeses like Gorgonzola, Roquefort, or Stilton for a generic “Bleu cheese” from the grocery store.
Aside from that, I’ve added a section on blue cheese dressing and a small FAQ section that addresses any further questions you might have.
What exactly is blue cheese?
Blue cheese is a form of cheese that is manufactured using Penicillium mold components. This is the component responsible for the cheese’s spots and markings, which range in color from blue to green.
This sort of cheese is easily identified by its characteristic odor, which is caused by mold and other forms of bacteria that are allowed to develop on the cheese.
The major item you can smell is probably the bacteria Brevibacterium, which has a strong odor. Many people equate this with odor, yet it is entirely safe to consume, and many people like doing so.
Blue cheeses are injected with spores before they develop. The spores are occasionally mixed in with the curds after they form. This cheese is normally matured for 60 to 90 days in a temperature-controlled setting.
The cheese may be eaten on its own or used to enhance a variety of foods.
What does blue cheese look like?
Blue specks or mold veins are blue cheese’s most noticeable visual feature. That mold isn’t fuzzy, and the hue ranges from blue-grey to blue-green.
The blue dots on the cheese in my images are everywhere. Other blue cheeses, such as Gorgonzola, may have blue veins rather than spots, which is great.
Isn’t Blue Cheese a Mold?
Blue cheese’s blue-green veining is caused by an edible mold called Penicillium roquefortii. This mold develops along the cheese veins during the maturing process, which is customarily done in chilly caves. This mold does not pose a health concern to most people.
Many producers, however, use a traditional cheese-making procedure that uses unpasteurized milk to increase mold development. Therefore, pregnant women and anyone with impaired immune systems should avoid eating cheese prepared from unpasteurized milk.
Is mold present in blue cheese? Is it safe to consume that mold?
Blue cheese is created using cultures of the mold Penicillium, which is very safe to consume.
When we notice mold, we usually discard the merchandise right away. In the case of blue cheese, however, this is precisely what we want to see and what this cheese is all about.
There are several varieties of blue cheese.
Perhaps just one sort of cheese comes to mind when you think about blue cheese. Like many of us, you’re constantly reminded of that crumbly, blue-ish white cheese sprinkled on top of restaurant salads. But, while that is blue cheese, it is not the only type available. In reality, there are several sorts of blue cheese, and you might be surprised at how different they are from one another.
The cheese from France Roquefort is a well-known variety of cheese but is also rather strong. We wouldn’t suggest this unless you’re already a big fan of blue cheese. Lighter, milder kinds such as Gorgonzola dulce, Mycella Blue, and Cashel Blue are available on the other end of the range.
And what if you’re searching for something in the midst between moderate and hot? In such a scenario, you should look for Gorgonzola, Fourme D’Ambert, and Cambozola at your local cheese shop. One thing to remember: When it comes to blue cheese, don’t limit yourself. Try out the many options accessible to you to determine which ones you like. You could even surprise yourself!
Is it necessary for some people to avoid blue cheese?
Cheeses, particularly those containing mold, may carry the listeriosis bacterium, which is especially risky for pregnant women, who should avoid blue cheese and blue cheese products.
In addition, individuals with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, HIV/AIDS patients, and renal or diabetes patients, should avoid blue cheese and other cheeses unless they are clearly and consistently labeled as pasteurized.
How Long Will Blue Cheese Last?
Unopened blue cheese has a shelf life of one month to six months, depending on the packaging. However, it normally keeps its quality for at least a couple of weeks longer.
Finish the cheese within 3 to 4 weeks of opening the packaging or beginning the wedge. The same is true if you buy it from the assembly line.
That’s the main point. Let’s get into the specifics.
Because of the various packaging options, the shelf life ranges from 1 to 6 months. It probably has a short shelf life if wrapped in cheese paper and packaged in a carton (like brie). But if it’s airtight, like the one I got, it’ll last considerably longer.
Fortunately, the wrapped wedge you purchase at the supermarket generally comes with a sell-by date, which is a good place to start. Then, of course, the cheese should be fine for another week or two after that date, but don’t anticipate miracles.
According to the label, blue cheese should be consumed within a few days. If this is the case, attempt to finish it within that time (plus a couple of days) or freeze the leftover blue cheese.
Crumbled blue cheese normally has a very long shelf life, lasting up to a year.
In general, as long as the box is unopened, it should keep its freshness until the date on the label, and maybe for another 2 to 3 weeks.
Once you open the container, you should eat the blue cheese crumbles within a week for the best results, or a few days longer if you’re happy with less-than-perfect blue cheese.
|Blue cheese wedge (unopened)
|Sell-by + 1 – 2 weeks
|Blue cheese wedge (opened)
|2 – 4 weeks
|Blue cheese crumbled (unopened)
|Sell-by + 2 – 3 weeks
|Blue cheese crumbled (opened)
How Long Does Blue Cheese last in the Refrigerator?
Wedge of Blue Cheese
A block of blue cheese may be stored for at least 6 months. It also varies based on the packing options and can even be extended for a few weeks while maintaining quality.
However, once you start the wedge, this blue cheese is only good for four weeks. After that, it’s the same with the new one off the wheel.
It’s worth noting that blue cheese has a far longer shelf life in an airtight box than it does with a cover of cheese paper inside the carton bag.
Crumbled Blue Cheese
So, how long would crumble blue cheese keep? This blue cheese has a shelf life of up to a year and even a few weeks longer if you do not open the packaging. You may store it in the fridge until the expiration date on the label without fear of spoilage.
Once you’ve opened the block, it’s best to consume these crumbles within a week while they’re still good. Otherwise, you’ll end up with mediocre blue cheese.
How long can you keep blue cheese crumbles at room temperature?
Bacteria develop quickly at temperatures ranging from 40°F to 140°F; blue cheese crumbles should be destroyed if left out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
Freeze opened blue cheese crumbles to extend their shelf life; when freezing, insert blue cheese crumbles in the freezer before the number of days indicated for refrigerator storage has gone.
Frozen blue cheese may lose some texture and flavor; thawed blue cheese is best suited to prepared meals like sauces, soups, and casseroles.
To freeze blue cheese crumbles, securely seal the original packing and set it in the freezer; if storing for more than 2 months, wrap the package inside a heavy-duty freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
How long can you keep blue cheese crumbles in the freezer?
Blue cheese crumbles will keep their finest quality for around 8 months if properly stored but will be safe for much longer.
The freezer period indicated is solely for optimal quality – blue cheese crumbles maintained continually frozen at 0°F will stay safe eternally.
Is it possible for blue cheese to go bad? How Do You Know If Blue Cheese Is Bad?
Part of the difficulty in judging whether blue cheese is new is that it already has harmless mold growing on it and has a naturally strong fragrance. As a result, any indicators that blue cheese has gone bad might be mild at first, so be cautious when checking on blue cheese near the end of its shelf life.
- Mold is unnaturally developing on the cheese. Because the mold that naturally forms on blue cheese is blue, soft, and spotty, any other mold that grows on your cheese is a warning that it has gone bad. Any black or fuzzy areas, in particular, are most likely caused by harmful mold developing on your cheese and should be discarded as soon as possible.
- A strong ammonia odor. As cheese deteriorates, it begins to smell like strong ammonia or other compounds, which is a good indication that your cheese has gone bad. Also, keep an eye out for stale or subdued odors, which might suggest that your cheese is starting to age and won’t last much longer.
- The cheese has become discolored. Blue cheese is normally yellowish with blue specks, so if any of those colors begin to change, your cheese is most certainly going bad. This is especially true for moldy hues like brown, green, and black, which indicate that fungus is taking root in your cheese and that you should throw it out as soon as possible.
A pink ring around the rind of some blue cheeses is natural and safe to consume. If in doubt, consult the label or the manufacturer’s website.
Also, if your blue is in an airtight container, some extra moisture within is normal and not a cause for concern.
If your blue cheese appears in good condition and smells well, it should be safe to consume. Feel free to give it a taste and judge whether or not it’s edible.
Remember that blue cheese is salty from the start but gets increasingly saltier as it ages. In other words, it’s supposed to get saltier with time. So if it’s too salty for your taste, toss it.
Can You Eat Blue Cheese After It’s Expired?
The expiry date merely shows when you should eat blue cheese. After it has been frozen, it is safe to use for a longer period after the “best by date” has passed.
Is it possible to become sick from eating blue cheese?
Blue-vein molds might be daunting. But they are Penicillium fungus, the same fungi that create penicillin. It is regarded as safe and poses no substantial health concerns to customers.
How to Store Blue Cheese
Blue cheese should be kept in the refrigerator. Make sure it’s tightly wrapped, so it doesn’t dry out, but also allow it some breathing space.
The ideal temperature for blue cheese is the same temperature it ripened. That suggests the temperature is somewhere between 46°F and 55°F (or 8°C and 13°C).
Because the temperature in a conventional refrigerator is generally a little lower, placing the cheese in the crisper drawer helps.
If possible, keep blue cheese separate from other cheeses (and food in general) so that mold spores from your blue cheese do not infect others.
When it comes to packing, you have a few alternatives.
If you bought the cheese pre-packaged, you could keep the wrap it came in when you opened the package.
If you’re purchasing a fresh cut from the wheel or need to repackage blue cheese, wrap it in cheese paper, wax paper, or parchment paper before placing it in a freezer bag. Again, don’t wrap it too tightly; it needs to breathe.
Don’t have any of the items above? A plastic bag or an airtight container are suitable alternatives. They’re not perfect, but they’ll do the job.
As you can see, these suggestions are quite similar to how to keep brie cheese.
When it comes to crumbled blue cheese, proper storage is straightforward. Store it in the fridge, and once opened, seal it before putting it back into storage properly. That’s all.
Is it necessary to keep blue cheese refrigerated?
Blue cheese should always be refrigerated after eating. Freezing may also appear to be a natural move to take, especially if you have purchased in quantity. However, it may not be the greatest idea… The issue here is not safety, as freezing will assure that.
It is instead a question of how the defrosting process can alter the cheese’s flavor and texture. In other words, it will no longer be suitable as a salad dressing or on a cheese board, but it may still be suitable for use in a sauce. Generally, it’s not the type of ingredient we’d advocate stockpiling up.
Is it possible to freeze blue cheese?
If you want to conserve your blue cheese for a special occasion, you may store it in the freezer, but keep in mind that the creaminess and depth of the taste will suffer. The texture will alter as well, becoming crumblier.
Wrap the cheese in wax paper before placing it in a sealable container or plastic bag, just as you would when storing it in the fridge.
Blue cheese freezing instructions
Reduce the size of the cheese. When working with bigger wedges of blue cheese, split them into 12-pound chunks to make storage easier. This also helps to spread the cheese throughout, allowing you to thaw it in tiny portions as needed rather than defrosting the full block every time you need some cheese.
Wrap the cheese in several layers. Before packing your cheese, cover it in plastic wrap and freezer paper to protect it from direct contact with the cold. Also, before putting the wrapped cheese in the freezer, make sure all the air is pushed out of the bag; otherwise, the cheese may get stale in the bag.
What Is the Best Way to Thaw Blue Cheese?
To get the best results when unfreezing cheese, take it out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
After that, remove the cheese from the refrigerator, thoroughly unwrap it, and set it on the counter for 30 minutes or until it softens.
How Long Does Blue Cheese Last Its Quality After Defrosting?
How long may blue cheese be kept out once it has been defrosted? It all depends on the melting procedure. You may, for example, keep a frozen slice of blue cheese in the fridge for up to four days before using it. When defrosting a cheese in cold water or the microwave, this period is usually much less, usually immediately away.
Dressing with Blue Cheese
Blue Cheese Dressing (commercial)
Store-bought blue cheese dressing has a shelf life of 9 to 12 months and can easily be kept for another month or two.
Opening the bottle does not affect the storage duration – the dressing may easily last for months if refrigerated. Of course, a newly opened blue cheese dressing will be slightly tastier than one open for the previous three months, but the difference will be little.
That extended storage after opening may make you think of mustard or ketchup.
These guidelines apply to most blue cheese dressings on the market, including the renowned Kraft brand. But it doesn’t imply they’re all like this. Always read the label to verify that you can keep yours for more than a week after opening.
Blue Cheese Dressing (Homemade)
Homemade blue cheese dressing may be stored for 5 to 7 days, depending on the recipe.
Read the recipe author’s storage instructions, but if they say it keeps for more than a week, I will take it with a grain of salt. As a precaution, assume it’s only good for about a week and stick with it.
How Can You Tell If Your Blue Cheese Dressing Is Bad?
If your homemade blue cheese dressing is more than 10 days old, or if your store-bought blue cheese dressing is more than 1 – 2 months over its best-by date, toss it. It’s not necessarily ruined at that point, but keeping it around indefinitely because it “seems acceptable” isn’t.
Now it’s time to give it a once-over. In this situation, you must rely on your senses of sight, smell, and taste.
First, remove the bottle’s cap and peek inside. Then inspect the surface and the neck for mold or discolorations.
Then, take a deep breath and give it a thorough scent. Get rid of any dressing that smells “strange” or nasty.
Last but not least, try a modest quantity. Then, if everything appears in order, it should be safe to consume.
Blue cheese should not be left out for longer than two hours. That is the general rule for all perishable goods.
While some hard cheeses, such as Parmesan or Pecorino, should be good after two hours, a semi-soft cheese, such as blue cheese, may not be as safe. And not suitable for soft cheese like cream cheese.
What is my advice? If you leave it unopened on the counter for 2 to 3 hours and it’s not the middle of summer, it should be alright (try it at your own risk). However, if it rested on a cheese plate for the whole birthday celebration, it belongs in the trash bin.
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