Room temp Half-n-Half --- thick and irregular texture [moved from General Topics]
I left Half and Half in the kitchen at room temp for two days. When I went to pour it, it was very thick and curdled but didn't smell like spoiled milk,…..just like Half and Half..
Technically, what is this? If I strained it, would that be cheese?
(OK, funny guys, please don't just say "spoiled" or "a mess.").
Yes, in a sense you have bad cheese. Both cheese and spoilage of milk result from fermentation. For cheese, it's a controlled process. Specific lactic bacteria are added to the milk to acidify it; the level of acidity is closely watched; etc. In the case of milk spoilage, what happens is uncontrolled. You have lactic bacteria that "eat" the milk sugar/lactose, convert it to lactic acid and eventually cause the milk to curdle, but they are probably not the desirable strains that would be selected to make cheese. Also other microorganisms--namely, yeasts and spore-forming bacteria --can contribute to milk spoilage. The spores survive pasteurization and are activated when the milk is at a favorable temperature, i.e., is not refrigerated.
Had you left your Half-n-Half out another day or so, I think you would have detected the other telltale signs of spoiled milk, the sour smell and taste.
no kidding, I just did the same thing.
last week I brought home 2 small containers of 35% cream and totally forgot them in my trunk.
2 days later being out of 1/2&1/2 for hubby's coffee, light bulb went off and into the garage I trekked. smelled like nothing had gone south with it and it had been in the cool garage with no heat so I used it in his coffee. it wasn't bad but did curdle and husband wondered what was with the to go coffee mug.
I used it no more for his coffee but in my mashed potatoes and mac and cheese and alfredo the next few days of course it had been in the frig since the coffee episode.
mine was fine. I wouldn't call it cheese, but it was to my tongue, still just a thickened cream. glorious yummy thick cream and alas it's gone.
but that's pretty much what it is....
Had you inoculated it with s known strain of bacteria specifically chosen to start the growth of bacteria that would result in a tasty and lovely cheese, I'd say it was cheese.
But since you have no idea WHAT is growing in there, I'd say it's a dairy-based Russian roulette.