For the cheese lovers out there, brie is an integral part of any good cheeseboard. We love its soft texture, its creaminess, and its versatility. That being said, it is definitely true that some cheeses keep better than others. So, before you go out and stock up on brie, it is probably best to assess how much of it you are going to use on a weekly basis.
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Does Brie Cheese Go Bad?
Inevitably, with dairy products, there will come a time when the quality of the product will begin to diminish and fade. Unfortunately, cheeses of any variety are just one of those things that are pretty awkward to keep for a long time and just aren’t worth attempting to store beyond a certain point. A piece of soft cheese will begin to harden up, sometimes even growing mold within a relatively short timeframe. So, though you can actively extend the lifespan of brie by taking extra care when storing it, it won’t stay good long enough to consider buying it in bulk. With that in mind, we have put together a handy guide on how to effectively store brie for the longest possible time and how to spot when the quality of the cheese has begun to fade. If this is the kind of information you are looking for, we have your back! Read on!
How Do I Store Brie Cheese?
Just like you would any soft cheese like a mozzarella or a feta, brie 100% needs to be stored in the fridge all of the time that it is in your home. This may sound strange as brie is one of those cheeses that is far better enjoyed at room temperature. The key then is to remove from the fridge only the amount of brie that you intend to serve, leaving the rest in the relative safety of the fridge. For best results, we would recommend taking the brie from the fridge around 30 minutes to an hour (maximum) before serving it. Once the brie has been opened, it is important to make sure that it is wrapped up well again before storing it. Your fridge will contain a lot of rogue odors and moisture that can penetrate the brie and cause the flavors to change. Likewise, moisture can also begin to seep out of an unwrapped brie, causing it to dry out and lose its creaminess prematurely. Thankfully, brie generally comes in a very convenient wrapper which is easy to reuse and re-wrap after it has first been opened. Because of this, there is no need to transfer the cheese into another container or wrap unless it has been compromised somehow.
Should You Refrigerate Brie Cheese?
There really is no better way to store brie than refrigerating it. If it is left out on the counter for even a few hours, the quality of the cheese may already be compromised.
Can You Freeze Brie Cheese?
Technically, any soft cheese can be frozen, but we have a few reservations about it being a good idea. With freezing and thawing, the texture of the cheese will be altered, making it effectively useless for use as part of a cheeseboard. People will notice that something is amiss! However, if you are only intending to use your brie as part of a cooked dish, the texture change will not be picked up. Essentially, we would only recommend freezing brie cheese if you absolutely have to. For example, if you are faced with the decision of letting it go off or freezing, the decision becomes a lot more clear-cut. When freezing brie cheese, or any other cheese, it is very important that none of the surface of the cheese is ever in contact with the air inside your freezer. For starters, the inside of your freezer is actually quite a moist environment that will cause your brie to spoil quickly and absorb unwelcome odors and flavors.
How Long Does Brie Cheese Last?
With some food products, the advice we would give is to eat it as soon as possible. However, brie is quite unusual in some regards in that it tastes far better after a few days or even weeks. This is because when you buy brie it is still maturing in its wrap. On the shelves of the supermarket even, it is still working its magic and improving its flavor and consistency. Because of this, most manufacturers will recommend eating your brie as close to the listed sell-by date as possible to really enjoy it at its peak. This is not to suggest that it will taste awful before that time, but it will get better. So, for us, the best time to enjoy your brie is pretty much right on the sell-by date, but it may not taste all that different if you accidentally overshoot that date by a few days. After such a point, the brie will begin to taste overripe, or ‘funky’.
How Do I Make Brie Cheese Last Longer?
The key to making your brie cheese last longer isn’t all that complex. Firstly, when purchasing your brie, make sure that the packaging is intact and that it doesn’t look like it has taken a beating during transport. Apart from that, the only trick is to always keep it wrapped up and in the fridge. If the brie is re-wrapped properly after use, there is no reason that an opened package of brie cheese will not last for just as long as an unwrapped one.
Signs That Your Brie Cheese May Have Gone Off
As we have mentioned, when you buy brie cheese it is still undergoing the process of ripening in the safe confines of its own package. Left to its own devices, this process will continue on unassisted until the brie reaches its peak condition in the days leading up to its sell-by date. After such a time, you may begin to notice that the cheese will have begun to become slightly overripe. At this stage, it isn’t a problem. The cheese will just taste a little more ‘dank’ than it previously had – still good for a cooked dish, but perhaps a little too far gone for a cheeseboard. In this sense, though a piece of brie that has gone more than a week beyond its sell-by date may appear to be totally fine, it most definitely will not taste as it should.
However, with a food as absorbent in nature as soft brie, sometimes it can take in things from its environment that can cause it to spoil long before it should. Generally, the first signs of this kind of spoilage are that the outer surface of the cheese will begin to change color and sometimes will begin to smell a little off. The next sign of spoilage to look out for is little spots of mold developing on the surface of the cheese itself. Should you notice any of these, the only thing to do is to discard the cheese and replace it. Should you be in any doubt, cut into the cheese and take note of its odor and texture. If anything appears to be off, it most likely is. At this point, it is best to err on the side of caution and simply get rid of it.