How long does cheese last? How do I know when a cheese has gone bad? What's good versus bad mold? (We can't help but wonder if people fear their cheese.) Armed with some of our helpful tutorials on how to store cheese best, you may never have to confront the issue of unwanted mold again. But if you do, there's a new verb to learn: To face. It's simple. If cheese has mold on it, you can be rid of it in one of two ways. Both techniques are methods of "facing" your cheese. And for the record, "facing" is actually a technical term in cheese speak. The first way to face cheese: Scrape If mold only affects a small area of the cheese, use a small paring knife to scrape it off. What's left behind is entirely edible; it's possible for mold to start growing after just a week in the fridge, so facing in this manner may be a semi-regular ritual if you're not super diligent about staying on top of your cheese stash. The second way to face cheese:
With a sharp knife (or even better, a great cheese knife), slice 1/16" off the planes of the offending faces of your cheese wedge. You'll lose much more of the cheese this way, but if the mold growth is pretty prolific, you'll have to make some sacrifices. Of note: Facing can also be an effective technique for cheese that's been kept in plastic for too long.
If you've faced your cheese and the cheese tastes bad, it's time to say sayonara. Let taste, not sight, be the sense you use most to determine whether your cheese should stay or go.
Nora Singley is an avid lover of cheese, and for some time she was a cheesemonger and the Director of Education at Murray's Cheese Shop in New York City, where she continues to teach cheese classes for the public. She is currently an assistant chef on The Martha Stewart Show.
Related: Why Does Pita Bread Mold So Fast?
(Image: Wasted Food, used by permission)