So you found brie cheese on sale and stocked up, but now you’ve just realized you probably bought too much? Keep reading to find out how you can make it last longer. Brie doesn’t stay fresh for too long, but with the tips discussed here, you can slow down spoilage and minimize waste.
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Does Brie Cheese Go Bad?
Yes, brie cheese does go bad. Being, a soft cheese, it actually spoils much faster than hard cheese. The reason for this is that soft cheeses contain higher moisture content than hard cheeses. They, therefore, should be consumed quickly.
To keep brie cheese fresh longer, always store it in a cool place. The refrigerator is the best environment for the cheese. Do not leave it sitting out on the kitchen counter. At room temperature, bacteria grow rapidly and your beloved cheese will not last very long. Also, if you leave your brie sitting out overnight, don’t use it, as chances are it is already spoiled.
How Long Does Brie Cheese Last?
Brie cheese has an extremely short shelf life. At room temperature, this cheese will stay good for only four hours.
The good news is that you can help your cheese live longer by properly storing it in the refrigerator. Here, it can stay good for a week and sometimes up to two weeks.
When you open your brie, make sure to seal it well before placing it in the fridge like you would do with camembert cheese. This will help retain its quality while keeping odors from adjacent foods at bay.
Use the best-by date printed on the label as a guide for how long you should keep your cheese. While the cheese will start losing its flavor after this date, you could still use it in the next seven days or so. It will still be good to eat; only the taste and quality will not be the same.
If your cheese shows any signs of spoilage (which we will be discussing in the next subtopic), toss it out immediately.
The following table helps you better understand brie cheese shelf life so you can use the product when it is still fresh and flavorful.
|Unopened||Best-by date + 7 days||4 hours|
|Opened||7 to 14 days||Not recommended|
3 Tips to Tell If Brie Cheese Has Gone Bad
Now that you know that brie cheese can indeed go bad, the next thing you would probably want to know is how to find out when the cheese is no longer good to eat. Well, we have listed several tips below to help you with that. Keep reading!
1. Rind is No Longer White
The rind is the white powdery bloom on the cheese. This substance is actually white mold often known as Penicillium candidum. Don’t worry. It is totally edible.
Now, if this bloom appears gray or flaky instead of white and powdery, know that something is wrong with your brie. It could be a sign that it has started to go bad and should not be ingested.
2. There is Mold
The only mold that should be present on your brie is the white bloom that the cheese comes with. Anything else that grows on the cheese over time should be considered a sign that the product is no longer good to eat. If you see dark spots or pink, slimy mold on the outside, that cheese should be thrown out.
3. Cheese Smells Off
Brie cheese will often have a milky, buttery, cheesy aroma when fresh. If yours starts to smell more like fish, it is probably not good to eat.
However, keep in mind that brie will sometimes give off a slight ammonia smell after some time. This does not indicate spoilage; it is a sign that the cheese has started to age. You can fix it by leaving the cheese in an open area to air out for a couple moments. Do not let it sit out for too long, though, as this could cause it to actually spoil, making the odor even worse.
If the rind still smells after airing, cut a small piece of the cheese and smell the paste inside. If it smells fresh, then you have nothing to worry about, but if the inside emits an overpowering ammonia scent, it is likely that the whole cheese has turned.
But that doesn’t mean it is particularly unsafe to ingest. You could still use your cheese, but depending on how much it has aged, the smell and taste may be too strong, making it unpleasant to eat and even causing digestive discomfort.
2 Tips to Store Brie Cheese
Ideally, only purchase as much brie as you are able to eat within a few days, as you won’t have to worry too much about how you store the cheese. But if you find yourself in a situation where you have plenty of brie that will require refrigerating for a while, use these two tips to keep the product at its best the longest.
1. Use a Breathable Wrap
As with most soft cheeses, when storing brie, make sure to wrap it with something breathable. Sure, you want to keep the cheese protected, but you also want some air to pass through. We recommend using cheese paper, but in its absence, waxed paper or parchment paper can do the job.
The main reason why brie cheese needs aeration is its high water content. A plastic wrap, for example, will smother the cheese and trap moisture, causing it to become too wet and watery, which will ruin the rind and alter the flavor of your cheese.
2. Choose the Right Temperature
While this is important, keep in mind that soft cheeses don’t like to be too cold, and brie is no exception. The ‘ideal’ temperature will vary depending on the brand and who you ask, but it is usually between 40° and 50° F.
Your fridge will likely be set to a lower temperature than this. So, to make sure the cheese doesn’t get too cold, put it in the crisper drawer where you store your veggies. This is usually a little bit warmer, so basically, it is the closest you will come to the ‘ideal’ brie temperature.
Here is a short video that gives more insights on the storage of brie cheese, including tips for cutting the different types of brie:
The Risk of Consuming Expired Brie Cheese
Most health experts will advise you to steer clear of mold-ripened cheeses like brie if you are allergic to mold. Also, the mold that grows on cheese when the product goes bad may produce mycotoxins that when consumed can make you sick.
But for most people, the chances of even eating spoiled brie are quite slim. Even if the cheese is not moldy, the aging process can make it incredibly bitter and smelly. While the unpleasant taste can be suppressed by mixing the cheese with something else, people with sensitive stomachs could still develop digestive system disorders.
If you develop symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramping that last for more than two days, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
A lot of food poisoning cases have been linked to expired dairy products. If you have a really delicate stomach, you should not eat any cheese that has been in storage longer than the recommended period or shows any signs of spoilage. Such cheese should be thrown out.
Can You Freeze Brie Cheese?
Yes, you can. Frozen brie cheese can stay good for up to six months. But freezing brie is not recommended unless you plan on using the cheese solely for cooking. After thawing, the texture will not be the same, so you will really not enjoy the cheese if you are eating it straight.
That said, if you do decide to store your brie in the freezer, make sure to do it right. For starters, consider cutting the wheel or wedge into smaller pieces. Think about how you will use the cheese after defrosting and make the portions based on that. Freezing brie this way ensures that you are not thawing more than you need.
Once you have your slices ready, put each piece into a resealable freezer bag and seal tightly, making sure to squeeze any excess air out. Next, place the portions on a cookie sheet ensuring they are not touching each other, then put them in the freezer. Wait for them to freeze, then transfer into an airtight container before putting them back in the freezer for long-term storage.
Brie cheese spoils quickly, but because now you have all the knowledge you need to store it correctly, we believe you will be able to enjoy fresh, flavorful brie much longer. Be on the lookout for mold or anything else that may make the integrity of the product questionable. Do not eat the cheese if you think it’s unsafe.