Usually, Brie cheese doesn’t last a day in my house. However, as I was out of town, a slice was left in the fridge for two weeks. It still looked tempting, but I was worried about taking a slice since I wasn’t sure if it went bad.
Brie gets its name from the region of the same name in Northern France. It’s one of the most famous soft cheese varieties and looks beautiful on almost any cheese platter. It’s a great companion to many foods, such as chocolates, fruits, cheeses, and honey.
It has a mild, rich, creamy, and buttery flavor, which is why many a cheese lover, including me, are obsessed with it. When ripened, it has a richer flavor. Its consistency is very soft, almost runny. It possesses a pale color with a tint of gray, and its rind can be eaten too (in fact, it’s my favorite part!) In addition, it has a strong, distinctive aroma.
If you’re having a party with a charcuterie board, you’re bound to grab a couple of slices of Brie. But what happens when the party’s done, and you’ve got lots of leftovers? Does Brie go bad?
In this article, we’ll discuss whether Brie can go bad or not. We’ll also address your pressing questions regarding how long it lasts, what happens if it is eaten expired, how to tell if it has gone bad, and how it should be stored.
Let’s see if you can stock up on the creaminess that is Brie!
Does Brie Go Bad?
It saddens me to think of a Brie wheel being thrown away just because it’s been in the refrigerator for a couple of days. However, sometimes it’s necessary because it, unfortunately, can go bad.
Technically, all cheese can go bad, with some spoiling faster than others. The softer ones, like Brie, are bound to go bad quicker than the hard cheeses. Its shelf-life is very short and it can only stay good for a while with proper storage.
Brie usually comes with a “best by” date, which is the date recommended that you enjoy the product by for peak quality. After that, it’s at risk of going bad.
Brie continues to mature even after you open its package. That is part of the reason why it goes bad in a short period. The taste and texture change over time, and eventually it becomes unappetizing.
How Long Does Brie Last?
Worrying about how long Brie lasts has never been an issue for cheese connoisseurs. It just gets eaten too quickly! However, if you’re an occasional eater of Brie, it is important to know how long it will last.
To truly understand its shelf life, you must understand how it’s made. It takes about 6 to 8 weeks to mature. It matures in a controlled environment for the first four or more weeks. The cheese is then packaged and sent to grocery stores, where you can purchase them from the refrigerated section. Once it’s on the shelf, it needs about 2 to 3 weeks to mature completely.
On Brie’s label, you’ll find a best-by date. As it matures, its taste and texture change over time. Eating overripe Brie will result in an unsatisfying experience.
How short is the shelf life of Brie? Well, to be enjoyed at maximum freshness and quality, it should be consumed within two weeks. It remains good for one or two weeks if stored properly in the fridge. Freezing Brie increases its shelf life to 3 months.
Note that there is almost no difference between opened and unopened Brie regarding shelf life. They will both continue ripening the same way at about the same rate.
What Happens if You Eat Expired Brie?
Eating expired cheese always comes with a risk, and this is especially true for soft cheeses.
Remember that Brie continues to mature even after its best by date. If it hasn’t passed the best by date by much, it might not do anything to you. However, eating bad Brie can lead to several issues.
Some people find that they get an upset stomach after eating expired Brie. In addition, they may feel nauseous.
If symptoms worsen, fever, vomiting, or abdominal pain may occur. Expired soft cheeses are a high-risk food, seen as a possible cause of listeria food poisoning.
How to Tell if Brie Has Gone Bad
After two weeks of having your Brie slice in the fridge, it’s essential to check if it has gone bad. Believe me; you don’t want to eat bad cheese just because you couldn’t see the tell-tale signs.
If you’re not sure if your cheese has gone bad or not, proceed with caution. You will have to rely on signs showing you its condition. Knowing these signs can be the difference between getting a delicious treat and a bad tummy ache.
The rind will often achieve a moldy exterior. It should be white with a powdery surface. If you identify more of a grey, flaky exterior, it’s probably spoiled and you should discard it. Any pink slimy mold indicates spoilage, and the cheese should be tossed away.
The smell also gives us an indication as to whether it has gone bad or not. If you’re getting a creamy, earthy scent from the interior, it’s probably still okay to eat.
Hints of ammonia also don’t necessarily indicate the Brie has gone bad; ammonia is a natural byproduct of the cheese aging process. However, a strong ammonia smell is a clear sign that the cheese should be discarded.
With Brie that is going bad, the edges will be harder, the color will turn darker, and the smell will be off. To determine its state and identify these signs, cut a portion of it and examine.
How to Store Brie Cheese
If you want your Brie cheese to last, you’re probably going to want to put in the effort to store it properly.
First off, something you shouldn’t do is leave your Brie at warm or room temperatures. These temperatures speed up fermentation and cause the cheese to spoil quicker. Instead, store your cheese in the fridge.
If your Brie is unopened in the package, just place it in the refrigerator the way it is. Often, the packaging for manufacturers is ideal for storage.
Once opened, do not just place your Brie in the fridge with nothing covering it. Instead, wrap it tightly with either parchment paper or aluminum foil. Airtight wraps ensure that moisture is not lost, which helps retain its taste. Do not use plastics to wrap Brie. It will ruin its flavor.
Whole cheeses or cheeses that have not been cut should be allowed to breathe to avoid excessive molding. You can wrap these cheeses tightly with parchment paper.
Brie should be kept in the refrigerator in an area with low moisture and constant temperatures, such as the back of the fridge or in the cheese drawer. Also, keep this cheese away from other food items with potent odors, like blue cheese.
If you want your cheese to last for the longest time possible, you can consider freezing it. However, it should not be considered as a long-term option, since the consistency and texture are affected.
Frozen Brie will become crumblier when thawed, so you can use it in baking or cooking. For information on how to properly freeze Brie, check our our guide here.