The Hungry Man Eats

A Tale of a Wedge of Blue Cheese

 Blue Cheese

It all starts innocently enough. You go to the grocery and compare the prices between the pre-crumbled 6 oz. container of blue cheese and the 8 oz. wedge of blue cheese. The wedge works out to be a better deal and you add it to your cart.

You are so proud of yourself on the way home, you think: “Why should I spend more for pre-crumbled cheese? I can crumble it myself! Ha ha, I sure pulled one over on those greedy cheese mongers this time!” Soon your thoughts turn to all the good times that you will soon have in the kitchen with your new friend, the blue cheese wedge. “I could crumble you over a salad, or maybe have you with a steak, or even make my own blue cheese salad dressing!” How ambitious you are!

Soon you make your first salad with freshly crumbled blue cheese and it is even better then you hoped. You decide that a homemade blue cheese dressing would be a great idea at this point.

However life has other plans. You never get around to making that dressing, you do use the blue cheese on another two salads and even crumble some on a steak, and it is awesome each time. But then you buy that package of bacon which obscures your blue cheese wedge, over half used now, from sight in your meat drawer in the refrigerator. Not long after that, the bacon package is covered with a bag of shredded cheddar cheese. The blue cheese is now out of sight, out of mind…

May turns to June, the shredded cheddar is used, the bacon gets used, and a salami package filled with salami and mischief, has apparently has shifted on its own and hides the blue cheese wedge from view.

June is ending when the blue cheese wedge is revealed again, you look and it still looks good at first glance, but it looks a good bit bluer then you remember, it may even glow blue in the dark now. You smell it and it smells like blue cheese still, but stronger than you remember. As you smell it up close you can see the veins of blue look boldly aggressive, like they have slowly been taking over what remains of the wedge. At this point, the timeless question about blue cheese enters your mind: “If blue cheese is blue because of the mold that makes it blue, how can I tell when it has gone bad? It is already “moldy” by nature, does it become too blue to eat??” You try a small piece and it tastes fine…you think. You decide to be bold (with a dash of trepidation) and generously crumble more on your salad for dinner. You toss the edge that remains in the trash, it just looks too dangerous and blue. You still don’t know when blue cheese goes bad though…

Let’s solve that problem!

Your cheese is still good if:

  • Is the white part of the cheese still white? If so your cheese is still good.
  • Does it still smell like blue cheese? If so your cheese is still good.
  • If it smells stronger then you remember, that’s ok too, the cheese does that as it ages sometimes.

Your cheese is bad if:

  • The white part begins turning yellow (or more yellow if it had a yellow tint to start with).
  • You see any other colors besides blue on the cheese (pink or brown on the surface, or green in the blue veins if there was no green before)
  • Do you smell/taste an ammonia scent/flavor? If so, back away from the cheese and trash it.
  • Does the cheese seem damp or slimy? Not good. Trash the cheese before it gets away!

So did I toss my cheese at the right time? The white color was good, but there was a bit of green in the veins of blue. It was probably on its last legs but still good, only the outside of the wedge remained so I did not toss much.

Next time I get a wedge of blue cheese, I promise to make the dressing…

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