Can I Safely Use This Cheese?

amck2July 29, 2014

I'm making M Stewart's Tomato Tart recipe which calls for Fontina cheese. I have a big unopened block in the fridge from last year's tomato season. I opened it and it still looks, smells and tastes fresh. Do you think it's safe and prudent to use in this baked tart?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just want to add that it was encased in thick red wax coating, as well as sealed plastic packaging.

This post was edited by amck on Tue, Jul 29, 14 at 12:08

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's a link to Still Tasty that may give you some solid information. Just because a product is out of date doesn't mean it's "unsafe", but the texture, flavor, or other factors may be compromised without it being unsafe.


Here is a link that might be useful: Still Tasty

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with Grainlady.

The point of cheese, however, is to preserve milk. Inspect the cheese. If it's damp, that might just be migrating water from being in the fridge so long, but it could also be a sign that there's mold going on. Scrape the surface and see if you find any mold. If yes, try to find how far in it goes. If it's just near the surface, pare all around it, including some of the unmoldy bit. If there's no mold, or it's easily removed, taste it.

If it tastes like Fontina, and it's soft, stretchy and not crumbly, it should be fine for your recipe. If you've done the recipe before and you don't really care about the texture, you can even use it crumbly. Fontina is a very tasty cheese. If it's only somewhat tasty, you can still use it, knowing it won't have as much of an impact.

Or if it's just okay, but not delicious enough for your tart, you can use it with other cheeses for mac and cheese, or on cheese toast, or something.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If it has fur growing on it, take it off. Wash the cheese and enjoy. It is cheese! The mold won't hurt you.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 3:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It is safe and prudent to use it any way you like. Enjoy! I love fontina.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cheese is one of the few "safe" things you can cut away fur. Unlike bread (it permeates, so it's a no if you see or smell any hint of mold). You're golden since you don't even have fur!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Take it from a food microbiologist, your nose knows. If it smells edible, it probably is. Some cheeses are agreed for 10+ years. Don't waste it!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

amck, you've probably already made your tart and lived to tell the tale, but I want to throw in my vote to go right ahead and use the Fontina.

I'll bet it was delicious.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Contrast to the Fontina I bought, pristine, less than a week ago, which had both blue and fur, and mold in the holes when I went to use it today. Nothing a little knife work can't fix, but you're lucky yours lasted a year...

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:14PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Favorite pies?
My son attends NERD school; Kidding! They are a bunch...
Aeropress coffee-science question for coffee weenies
I got an Aeropress today. Just made my first cup of...
l pinkmountain
Not your average refrig contents....
Tartine bakery is one of the local San Francisco icons:...
Pasta rolling pin aka mattarello
I'm planning on purchasing a mattarello or pasta rolling...
Another kitchen science accidental experiment
The other day I made a soup with potatoes, tomatoes,...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™