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Fri Apr 8, 2022, 04:10 PM

Aged cheeses. Why do they have expiration dates?

I mean, unopened plastic wrapped.

If it's an aged cheese that is unopened and looks ok, is it probably ok? What could go wrong?

And a related question: what's the best application for such a product? I mean, that bypasses whatever, if any, specific type of deterioration, like maybe texture.

Just wondering, while cleaning out fridge....

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Fri Apr 8, 2022, 04:15 PM

1. Propaganda, no good reason for expiration dates.

It's certainly OK, imo.

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 8, 2022, 04:21 PM

3. The only reason I can think of is that

microbes can become introduced during the processing--cutting, handling, wrapping--and while they would be very slow growers and under anaerobic conditions, they may eventually have an effect.

Just speculating. I really don't know.

(and I take *all* expiry dates with a huge grain of salt anyway)

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Fri Apr 8, 2022, 04:18 PM

2. Here's an article on how to know if your hard cheese is bad:

https://www.canitgobad.net/can-hard-cheese-go-bad/#:~:text=Just%20like%20any%20other%20dairy,such%20as%20Gouda%20or%20Edam.

The article mentions that if a hard cheese is extra hard and dried out as opposed to bad, that the dryness isn't as apparent if you use it in a recipe that calls for melted hard cheese.

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Response to femmedem (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 8, 2022, 04:28 PM

6. Thanks

that looks like a site I will spend some time with, lol

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Response to intrepidity (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 8, 2022, 04:37 PM

7. You're welcome!

I've been home with a migraine all day. That's the first useful thing I did.

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Response to femmedem (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 8, 2022, 04:42 PM

8. Aww sorry

aged cheeses and migraines don't do well together.

Fellow migraineur here--I feel your misery.

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Response to intrepidity (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 8, 2022, 05:20 PM

10. Thanks. It's been a rough day but I was finally able to keep down some gingery ramen.

But I'm looking forward to tomorrow. My migraines rarely last more than a day. I hope you don't get yours too often.

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Fri Apr 8, 2022, 04:26 PM

4. The short answer is that you probably are not maintiaining the environment that they use

to properly age the cheese.

Humidity, temperature, occasional cheese maintenance (wiping).

They aren't aged wrapped in plastic during aging for example.



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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Fri Apr 8, 2022, 04:27 PM

5. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Fri Apr 8, 2022, 05:00 PM

9. Another trick - soften overdry parmesian with a damp paper towel.

You want the paper towel damp, not dripping.

Wrap the cheese in the paper towel, then tightly wrap plastic wrap around that.

It really works, but the flavor doesn't come back 100%, flavor only comes back about 75%. The texture can be brought back just like before though.

It will take several days to work its magic.

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Fri Apr 8, 2022, 05:21 PM

11. And how can you tell when Limburger goes bad ? Does it stop stinking ? nt

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Fri Apr 8, 2022, 05:57 PM

12. I've alwways thought it was the date when the bacteria would take over

and start making it stinky and sour, especially if it wasn't properly stored.

Cheese is one of those things that freezes well, so I consistently ignore those expiration dates. Bacterial action doesn't stop during freezing, but it slows to a nearly imperceptible level.

Since it was refrigerated, I'd probably hazard a taste and then consider turning it into mac and cheese or something.

My one exception to the cheese rule is the rind on a bit of overpriced Parmesan cheese, I've used that to flavor a pot of pasta e fagiioli when it was really ancient. The older it was, the more flavor it seemed to impart and I figured the simmering soup would kill anything.

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Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Sun Apr 10, 2022, 08:31 AM

13. The cheese is no longer intact, that changes the calculus of aging a lot.

A whole wheel of cheese with an intact rind and an interior that's never been exposed to any microorganisms other than the cultures is much, much more durable and longer-lasting than a piece that's been cut out, exposed to unsterile room air with all sorts of molds floating around.

Of course, even the slice will last well beyond the expiration date, that's totally a marketing thing to get you to buy more - but you can't take a chunk of cut Cheddar from the store and age it for an extra 3 years.

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