Say Cheese: Everything You Need to Know About Mold
To the untrained ear, mold and food in the same sentence is a culinary nightmare. However, professionally trained, and amateur chefs know that mold plays a key role in creating fine artisanal cheeses. The most important part of making, eating, and storing cheese is knowing the difference between good and bad mold.
Check out these tips! See below.
Good mold: Good mold is necessary for producing poplar cheeses like Stilton, Roquefort, blue and gorgonzola. This mold is specifically cultured to produce the veins in the cheeses. These molds, which are found in the rinds, are safe to eat and will not cause sickness.
Bad molds: Other common molds cause cheese to spoil and usually grow on the cheese’s surface. These produce discoloration (clumps of blue, green, & white fuzz) and are unsafe to eat!
Consumption: It is important to note that you cannot simply cut these molds off the top and continue to eat these cheeses. Mold produces poisonous spores that become part of the food and make their way throughout the cheese despite the main source being removed.
Storage: Mold prevention is all about storage. Be sure to seal cheeses in their original packages and wrap them in another layer of saran wrap or an equivalent. If you make the cheese yourself, invest in cheese paper to provide proper aeration and coverage.
Identification: While it is not full proof, the color of the mold can help you identify the good and the bad. “Bad” molds are typically black, white, red, pink, orange, green, blue, brown, gray or some combination of these. “Good” molds are an off-white or blue (like in Blue, Brie, and Camembert cheeses).