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Nov 12, 2013 02:58 AM

Your back of the cupboard, out of date food stuff

Just cleaned out one of my kitchen cupboards. Found a jar of Lemon Curd, still sealed, best before November 2006.

Anyone else as bad?

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  1. I'm worse, but not as bad as I used to be! I have spices going back to the 1970s. There have been threads about this, I will try to find them for you. They are pretty funny.

    Here's one

    1. Not only am I just as "bad," but I would not hesitate to eat it as longn as it was not moldy and did not smell off.

      I just threw out two sealed jars of Romesco sauce that I had brought back from Barcelona and that had sell-by dates of 2005. But I could see that the color was off. Otherwise I might have tried them!

      3 Replies
      1. re: erica

        Agreed, I'm pretty bad as I tend to hoard things an then they go missing. As long as it smells OK, I'll eat it. I can't think of the oldest thing I've eaten because I rarely if ever actually look at the expiration date. I just open it and if it's off it goes in the trash no matter what the date so I skip that step.

        1. re: erica

          Same -- it takes a lot for me to admit something has truly gone bad, despite what the expiration date may say. I need mold (and more than just a little) or an off smell or taste to truly accept that something must be thrown out.

          This is one of those marital issues my husband and I will never agree on. Growing up, my family was classic Jewish -- my mom's side holocaust survivors and my dad's great depression -- and it was just unheard of to throw things out. You just did not waste food. Even things that were moldy, the attitude was "just cut the moldy part out."

          My husband grew up in a WASP home that did not have this kind of mentality, so he is totally squeamish about food that's been sitting for a bit too long. Even a day past its prime and he's all, "Are you SURE this is okay?" Even after smelling and tasting certain things that are totally fine, he will convince himself that they're bad.

          (....says the person who probably convinces herself things are fine when they're not).

          1. re: arielleeve

            If you've ever had food poisoning, you'd know it.

            I've had Listeria, and it isn't fun.

        2. Not these days, Philip.

          We check the cupboards over twice a year and skip the out of date stuff. Just did the pre-Xmas check a few days back. As always, it was a few jars of herbs and spices and a packet of pappads that went in the bin.

          3 Replies
            1. re: THewat

              They become less than fresh, in the way that most dried products can become less than fresh. Pappads are easily obtainable and extremely cheap, so it crosses no lines for me to skip them.

          1. Kahlua that I opened in 2004 (I marked the bottle). How would I tell that it's "bad"?

            My unopened lemon curd with a "best by" date of 2012 has been refrigerated the whole time and I do plan to use it.

            And reading coli's linked thread I just learned that cornstarch has an expiration date? hmm...

            7 Replies
            1. re: MidwesternerTT

              Oooooo - last weekend I found a bin in the basement of junky alcohol that I moved here 13 years ago… Some of that stuff poured out in clumps. Yikes!

              1. re: THewat

                My friend's dad died in 2011 and they held shiva (sp?) at their house. Not being drinkers, they had saved a dozen or so unopened bottles of alcohol received as gifts over the years. Many had Pennsylvania tax seals over the top (discontinued in 1976) with one bottle of Old Grand Dad, possibly from the 50s, inviting me to open and sample it. After sitting in glass with a dry-rotted cork for 60 years, bourbon gets much worse. Believe me.

                1. re: Chefpaulo

                  That's interesting. My mom passed away and we had to clean out the house. Found a lot of expired wine, but also some very elderly cheap scotch. Based on my experience with the wines and lack of knowledge about spirits, I actually asked on the Spirits board about the likelihood of it having spoiled. They all assured me that it should be fine.

                  I think I'll crack it open on Thanksgiving and see for myself.

                  1. re: 512window

                    Ruh roh!
                    Don't hold your vintage elderly/cheap Scotch as any kind of standard. You are playing with fire(water.) My dad was an organic chemist and told me all about esters turning into ketones (or was it the other way around?) that makes alcohol funky. Anyway, if not in an oak barrel, your Scotch may end up like the "vintage" Old Grand Dad tasting like watered-down furniture polish filtered through old wood shavings.

                  2. re: Chefpaulo

                    When my dad passed away a couple of years ago he left behind a huge liquor inventory. He stopped drinking a long time ago, but after years of buying wine & spirits by the case to give out as gifts he had amassed quite the collection.

                    My sister and I sat down to inventory all of it, and when I finally got around to checking the little bar cabinet in his home office I couldn't believe what I found. There was a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 20-year-old that he had opened at some point, barely used, and never closed properly. It was probably sitting like that for years, and unfortunately the oxidation killed it. Dad never cared much about money or material things, but I imagine he might have been a teeny bit upset about this one - a bottle of the very same bourbon just sold at auction for nearly $1200 last month in NYC. Ouch.

                    But back to the OP, aside from the occasional bottle of wine that turns on me when I forget about it (gee, I wonder where I get that from?) the turnover rate is pretty high in my kitchen. I organize the refrigerator, freezer and cabinets regularly, and I do a major cleaning of them a few times each year to get rid of/use up anything that's been languishing. It also helps that I move a lot - the less I have to pack up, the better.

                    My parents' house was another story - when I tackled their kitchen and pantry I unearthed things that had been sitting there for DECADES.

                2. re: MidwesternerTT

                  I doubt the Kahlua went bad. My parents have some that is at least 20 years old and it was fine when I poured a bit into my coffee last visit. Destressor!

                  1. re: tcamp

                    With that much sugar the preservative properties should be pretty darn high! I love Kahlua but am careful not to drink any before having my glucose tested.

                3. I went looking for an aspirin the other day and couldn't find a bottle that hadn't expired in 2011. Three bottles. Otherwise I found an opened half-and-half in the back of the fridge that expired in March. It's not exactly 7 years, but I must get extra points since it's a perishable.