Blue cheese is a popular cheese loved by many.
It’s a type of cheese that has veins or spots of blue mold running throughout it.
It’s delicious on its own, on crackers or bread, and often used as a spread on sandwiches or burgers.
However, since it’s a cheese with numerous mold spores, one may wonder how long blue cheese really lasts, and whether it goes bad.
Blue cheese can last for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator when wrapped correctly and stored at the correct temperature. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months without any significant changes in flavor or texture. Always inspect the cheese before use and discard if there are any unusual odors or visible mold.
In this article, we’ll explore the shelf life of blue cheese, what happens when it goes bad, and how to prolong its lifespan.
We’ll also provide some tips and tricks on how to enjoy leftover blue cheese and how to tell it if it has gone bad.
So let’s dive into everything you need to know about blue cheese!
What is Blue Cheese?
Blue cheese is a type of cheese that’s typically made from cow’s milk, but can also be made from sheep’s milk and goat’s milk. It’s characterized by the bluish-green veins running throughout the cheese, which is produced by the mold Penicillium. This mold also gives blue cheese its distinctive flavor, which ranges from salty and sharp to creamy and mild.
Different types of blue cheese include Roquefort, Gorgonzola, and Stilton, which have different flavors and textures. Blue cheese is a popular ingredient in various dishes, from salads and sandwiches to pasta and steak.
How Long Does Blue Cheese Last?
The shelf life of blue cheese depends on various factors, including the type of cheese, storage conditions, and whether it’s been opened or not. Generally, blue cheese can last for up to 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator if stored correctly.
Once opened, blue cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, especially if it’s wrapped properly to prevent bacterial contamination. In contrast, unopened blue cheese can last up to a month or more in the refrigerator.
It’s important to note that different types of blue cheese may have different lifespans. Soft varieties like Roquefort, for example, tend to have a shorter lifespan compared to firmer varieties like Gorgonzola.
How to Store Blue Cheese
Proper storage is crucial to keeping blue cheese fresh for longer. Here’s how to store blue cheese to extend its lifespan:
- Wrap properly: When storing blue cheese, wrap it tightly in wax paper, foil, or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out or absorbing odors from other foods. It’s best to use a new piece of wrapping every time you re-wrap the cheese.
- Store at the right temperature: Blue cheese should be stored at a temperature between 35°F and 45°F, which is typically the temperature of the cheese drawer in the refrigerator. Avoid storing blue cheese in the coldest part of the fridge or on the door, where temperatures fluctuate.
- Keep it separate: To prevent cross-contamination, it’s best to store blue cheese separately from other types of cheese. Mold spores can easily spread to other cheeses, causing them to spoil faster.
- Don’t freeze blue cheese: Although blue cheese can be frozen without altering its flavor or texture, it’s not always the best option, as it can alter the taste and texture of the cheese.
How to Tell if Blue Cheese Has Gone Bad
It’s important to check your blue cheese before consuming it, to ensure its freshness and quality. Here are some signs that your blue cheese may have gone bad:
- Foul odor: If the cheese smells sour, rancid, or rotten, it’s best to discard it.
- Visible mold: If the cheese has visible mold growing on the surface or throughout the cheese, it’s a sign that it has spoiled. Blue cheese naturally has mold, but when it’s excessive and appears different from the blue veins in the cheese, it’s time to throw it out.
- Changes in texture: If the cheese appears abnormally dry, slimy, or has developed a crust on its surface, it’s a sign that the cheese is past its prime.
If you notice any of these signs on your blue cheese, it’s best to discard it as consuming spoiled cheese carries a risk of foodborne illnesses.
Tips for Using Leftover Blue Cheese
If you have some leftover blue cheese that you want to use up, here are some ideas on how to enjoy it:
- Make a salad dressing: Blue cheese is a great addition to a salad dressing, and it pairs well with flavors like honey, balsamic vinegar, and lemon.
- Add it to your burgers: Next time you’re making burgers, add a crumble of blue cheese for an extra pop of flavor.
- Use it as a garnish: Blue cheese is a great garnish for soups and stews, and it adds a layer of creaminess and flavor.
In conclusion, blue cheese can last up to 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator and up to a month or more if unopened. When storing blue cheese, it’s important to wrap it tightly and store it at the correct temperature to prevent spoilage.
If you notice any unusual odors or mold on your blue cheese, it’s best to discard it as consuming spoiled cheese can lead to foodborne illnesses. With proper storage and care, you can enjoy delicious blue cheese for longer and experiment with new ways to use it!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.