Most people love brie cheese for its creamy mild flavor. If you stock up on it, it eventually causes you to ask this one basic question: “does brie cheese go bad?”
Or maybe you’re not quite sure how to tell if brie cheese is bad. On most foods, whenever you see mold, you now that the product is spoiled. But since brie already comes with a rind of white mold, that method obviously won’t work.
If you’d like to learn more about storage methods, shelf life, and signs of spoilage of brie cheese, this article is for you. Read on.
Image used under Creative Commons from Sara
How To Store Brie Cheese
Once you open the wrapped wedge, the most important thing to remember is to keep leftover brie well wrapped. A good wrap keeps the air and strong odors from the fridge out and the moisture in. Also, it prevents the mold spores from spreading throughout the refrigerator and contaminating other food. When it comes to how you should wrap the leftover cheese, usually you can just use the original wrap. If that’s not an option, go for cheese wrap or wax paper.
Last but not least, brie is best served at room temperature. Thus it’s usually a good idea to take it out of the fridge about half an hour before serving.
Can You Freeze Brie Cheese?
Well, the general consensus is that you shouldn’t freeze soft cheeses. But if it’s either freezing or leaving it to go bad, freezing is definitely a better choice. Like with cottage cheese or yogurt, or almost any dairy product for that matter, the texture will be changed after thawing. Brie will become crumbly, so it almost certainly won’t be good enough in a sandwich or as a side. But it should work fairly well in cooked dishes, like casseroles or stews.
When it comes to how to freeze it, just put it in a freezer bag, squeeze as much air as possible and chuck into the freezer. A good wrap is the most important thing here, and a freezer bag seems to be the best option here.
How Long Does Brie Cheese Last
Let’s talk briefly about the production process because it’s important to the shelf life of this soft cheese. White-mold cheeses take about 6 to 8 weeks to mature. For the first month or even longer they mature in a controlled environment to ensure the mold sets in properly. Then the cheese is packaged and goes to your local grocer and ends up in the refrigerated section.
The cheese comes with a best-by (or use-by, or sell-by) date, but unlike almost all other food products, eating it as soon as you buy it isn’t optimal. On the contrary, many producers recommend enjoying it near the date on the label for peak quality.
Remember that brie needs about 6 to 8 weeks to mature? Once it gets to the shelf, it usually still has about 2 to 3 weeks to ripen fully. Of course, there’s nothing wrong about eating it right away. You just should be aware that the taste and texture of brie change over time. That also means that the cheese won’t spoil right after the date on the label, but all the processes happening inside it will continue. So for about a week past that date, the cheese should still be quite tasty. But sooner or later you’ll end up with overripe brie, that doesn’t taste that good.
Please note that there is little to no difference between an unopened or opened brie when it comes to shelf life. An unopened wedge will continue ripening the same way an opened one does.
|Brie cheese (unopened or opened)||Best-by + 1 week|
Please note that the period above are for best quality.
How To Tell If Brie Cheese Is Bad?
First off, look for any signs of mold that’s not native to white-mold cheeses. That means any green or blue spores on the surface. If there are any, discard the cheese. Given that the surface is okay cut a slice and judge its quality. If it has a darkened color, smells off, or the texture is altered, throw it out.
Please remember that the cheese continues to mature the whole time you store it. So while after two or three weeks past the date on the label it might still be perfectly safe to eat, the taste likely won’t be anywhere near acceptable. And if the taste isn’t good enough, cut your loses and throw it out.