blue cheese dilemna
Alright, so, I bought this 6 oz tub of Salem Blue Cheese at the grocery store... It doesn't expire till 10-2007.... however, it has a stronger taste than most blue cheese I have bought before, and just doesn't taste right to me....
The dilemna is...How do you know if blue cheese has gone bad or does blue cheese go bad? If blue cheese is essentially a mold, why should it even have an expiration date on the container?
Can someone explain this anomaly!!
Blue cheese can go bad. Stomach turningly so. It can sometimes be hard to tell. If the color of your cheese was orignally ivory and now it's straw-colored, I probably wouldn't eat it. Same if the veins were orignally blue and now they're green.
Having said that, I once got horribly ill from some blue cheese that looked and tasted okay when I ate it. By the next day, though, the color had definitely gone off. I wish I had known how to tell it had turned the day before I could see it.
There is a definite difference in taste when blue cheese gets bluer. The mold taste more like the mold rind on brie and can be over powering. I have seen this happen in Maytag blue cheese that has sat too long in the fridge. A sin I know but sometimes it happens.
It's hard to tell if a moldy cheese is well...moldy. Some blue cheeses are incredibly strong, which is good. But, if you're used to packaged blue cheeses from the major brands in grocery stores, if may be overpowering.
As with most all cheeses, if it smells like ammonia, throw it out.
There are various strengths of blue/bleu cheeses (in my limited experience), which would definitely affect the taste, especially if you're used to say a mild blue. But I would definitely take it back if I were you, just to be safe, get another one, see if it tastes the same, or if your store has a Fromagier, ask them if it's normal for it to taste like that...
I found blue fur/fuzz on some crumbled Danish blue cheese once. I love the strong flavor of Danish blue... but not with fur on it.
While blue cheese is essentially a mold, correct, there are many other types of molds that can grow on your cheese that aren't edible and are very unpleasant. This is why it can go bad, even though a good mold has been there from the start. As AB would say, once a bad mold joins the party it's over.