Does Blue Cheese Go Bad
Blue cheese is known for having a very distinct, strong smell, and this is due to the mold and the different types of bacteria that are encouraged to develop on the cheese. These cheeses typically go through a ripening process that is between three to six months, in an environment that is extremely temperature controlled. Some types of blue cheese, for example, gorgonzola, even go through this aging process in a cave as such an environment is known to have a moist, stable temperature. The safety of the consumption of blue cheese is sometimes questioned because of the presence of mold and bacteria in, however, it is very safe to eat because the Penicillium mold does not produce toxins that affect our respiratory system the way some other types of molds do. If you are curious as to whether blue cheese does go bad and how to identify spoilt cheese, this article will help.
What Is Blue Cheese?
There are about seven classifications of cheeses that exist according to the nature of the cheese rinds, and blue cheese is one of them. Blue cheese is a general name that is used to represent any cheese which is produced using either cow, goat or sheep’s milk, and then ripened with the fungi cultures of the mold penicillium. The final result is identified by a cheese that is veined or spotted with blue, green, grey or black mold all over the body of the cheese. These veins or spots are a product of the cheese being ‘spiked’ with rods made of stainless steel which is done to enable oxygen circulation and promote the growth of the mold. It is, at this stage, that the recognizable blue cheese flavor comes forth, and the texture of the cheese becomes softened. The flavor profile of blue cheese tends to be sharp, tangy and salty, but never bitter. It is a semi-soft cheese with a texture that can either be creamy or crumbly.
How To Tell If Blue Cheese Has Gone Bad
It can be pretty confusing to know whether or not your blue cheese has gone bad, especially as this food already comes with blueish or greenish mold; things you typically wouldn’t want to see in your regular food. But as you’ve come to know, these molds are an indicator of good blue cheese. Good blue cheese also comes with a cream to white body color with a typically strong, pungent smell that hits you in the face; often compared to the smell of ammonia. All of these signify that your blue cheese is A-Okay. However, one of the signs of knowing that your blue cheese is starting to turn, or has already gone bad, are fuzzy gray or black patches of mold appearing around the cheese.
Also look out for shiny pink or yellow spots of yeast, as these are clear signs that your cheese is going bad. In addition, slimy texture, or cheese that feels tough and dry probably means that your blue cheese is no longer good and should likely not be consumed. What’s more, if it’s smelling musty or particularly unpleasant (foul or rancid), it might have gone to the other side.
To avoid having to go through the process of determining whether your cheese is still good, it is advisable to consume blue cheese within two weeks of purchase; this can usually be achieved by purchasing in small quantities.
Is Blue Cheese Healthy?
Apart from being ridiculously delicious, blue cheese boasts of a number of health benefits to the human body. Studies have shown that blue cheese has anti-inflammatory characteristics that help combat certain diseases such as include joint inflammation, and it can help reduce the pain of arthritis and even lowers the risk of having it in the first place. Consumption of blue cheese can also enhance memory as a result of the nutrients present that are known for improving brain cell function. In addition, blue cheese can lower bad cholesterol and reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases. The food also contains necessary minerals and vitamins such as zinc, potassium, and vitamin A and D.
What Do I Do With Blue Cheese?
Blue cheese can be used in a variety of dishes and naturally enhances the flavor of anything that it is incorporated in. It can be used in salads to cut through the bitterness of greens, in spicy dishes to offset the heat, can be used in pastries with fruits and nut to enhance the sweetness, or can simply be spread on crackers to experience its full taste, and paired with good wine.