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Feb 23, 2014 07:40 AM

A question about mould - good or bad? Reblochon pink interior mould.

I really regret not taking a photo as it would make all of this so much more simple.

I bought a Reblochon recently, a half round and it looked alright. It was clearly pretty ripe with a definite orange/pink color in the rind. When I cut a first wedge out of it, though there was a strong colour change on a triangular portion that extended from the top corner down to a half inch in along the base of the round (does that make sense? essentially it was the outside bottom corner of the round). The rest of the interior was the soft yellow that you see in any pic if you google it. That triangle along the outer edge, though, was a very distinct pink. It also smelled highly of ammonia (I know that's common with ripe soft cheeses and not necessarily a bad thing but the rest of the cheese didn't have any of that smell, just the pink bit).

So I returned it to the store and they said, "Oh yes, it's very ripe. It's still edible but someone should have warned you that it was very strong". They were happy to refund my money but their suggestion that it was still fine to eat left me wondering.

So my question: is that sort of mould development (pink mould in the interior) on a Reblochon considered acceptable/good/normal maturation or would it be considered flawed/past its prime/bad? Would it be normal to sell it at that stage?

Obviously I know that mould is an integral part of cheese making and not all mould is bad. There are no images online of that sort of thing that I could find, which I confess made me think it was probably flawed rather than merely very ripe (there's no shortage of ripe camembert oozing). I wish I had a French cheese expert to hand to explain.

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  1. Pink mold on exterior/interior of cheese is usually serratia marcescens. Not too many others are pink/red.
    Not too terrible a pathogen but a pathogen none the less.
    l never sold anything with the bacteria, but would likely take home that which was going to be chucked, l never had any problems, l am not you though.
    If any portion of cheese smells ammoniacal chuck it if the smell does not blow away in a few minutes.
    Finally, if real au lait cru Reblochon, l might it give it a shot if tastes good. If on fake pasteurized Reblochon style l would return it.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      Thanks for the info. In some further reading that I did after posting I read that a pink colouring could also be a yeast and wondered if I was too quick and possibly inaccurate to describe it as "mould"? It was the soft portion of the cheese that was uniformly coloured as though it had been dip dyed on the corner.

      I did consider that it might still be ok to eat but due to the smell decided to err on the side of caution and return it rather than eat it (I certainly wasn't going to take it to the dinner I was going to that night) and just wondered at the inference that they thought if fine to sell it as it was, provided warning was given. Admittedly at that point the shop assistant had not actually looked at the example that I returned but did seemed unsurprised for the Reblochon they were selling. It sounds like not every cheese retailer would sell it at that point?

      I'll try a less funky version in the future and raw milk Reblochon at that.

      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        But Reblochon should not have any interior Mold right?

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            I'm sorry, Noop, it should or shouldn't have interior Mold.