Who doesn’t love gorging on a big, fat burger that is dripping with the gooey goodness of creamy cheese? There are all kinds of cheese but deli cheese continues to be a hot favorite.
This is because of how easily it melts, and also because of its texture. Deli cheese can be used on almost everything – sandwiches, charcuterie plates, on pizzas, crackers, and sometimes even with a bowl of noodles.
Cheese does not enjoy a good reputation among people who are on a diet. The truth is, you can continue relishing your deli cheese as long as you do it in moderation.
Cheese, on its own, falls under the ‘PowerFeul’ category. They contain generous amounts of healthy calcium and protein. Sliced cheese also contains high doses of salt and saturated fats.
The next time you go shopping for cheese, ask for low-fat and low-sodium versions. Cheeses with low calorie and high nutrient content are always the healthiest options.
When it comes to the thickness of deli cheese slices, you can choose from thin, medium, and thick.
If you are a cheese hoarder, you must have questions like how long does deli cheese last?
Or how do you know when it has gone bad? Let’s get to answering these questions.
How Long Does Deli Cheese Last? Does Deli Cheese Go Bad?
The answer to the above question depends mostly on how you store your American deli cheese.
The crucial factor here is to refrigerate the cheese as soon as you bring them home from the store. If properly refrigerated, deli cheese remains edible for two to three weeks.
Notice the ‘sell-by’ date on your cheese package? That is ignorable. This date normally indicates the estimated time around which the cheese is at its peak quality.
After that, the cheese may lose a bit of its flavor and texture, but it is still edible. However, it is recommendable that you eat the cheese as soon as possible to avoid food poisoning risks.
To extend the shelf life of cheese, store any unopened package in the freezer. Freezing cheese is known to prolong its usability by up to eight months.
For doing so, wrap it tightly in a plastic freezer or aluminum foil. Then place it in heavy-duty freezer bags.
Deli cheese, once taken out from the freezer, can be defrosted and refrigerated for up to four days before using it. Take care to allow the frozen cheese to thaw in the refrigerator itself.
Once thawed, deli cheese can sometimes be crumbly, which makes it great for casseroles, sauces, and soups.
How to Tell if Deli Cheese is Bad? Deli Cheese Shelf Life!
It is, therefore, difficult to set a standard measurement for deciding exactly when cheese goes bad. However, there are three definite ways to tell if the cheese you have at home has passed its usability date.
The first sign is its appearance. Most cheeses tend to develop a bit of surface mold on them. In such cases, simply trim the moldy parts off.
If the surface below the moldy area is clean, the cheese is still good to eat. If your deli cheese (or any cheese for that matter) changes color, consistency seems different, or if there appears to be some sliminess on it, discard the cheese.
The smell is another way to distinguish good cheese from a spoiled one. Cheese is a dairy product, so it is likely to have some sort of smell.
For your own safety, smell the cheese when you buy it. This way, you can tell if your deli cheese has changed its odor since you bought it.
Sometimes, your deli cheese can pass both the smell and appearance tests, but fail when it comes to taste. The results of doing a taste test may be revolting, but you’ve got to do what is needed.
If you have deli cheese that has been in the fridge for quite some time, take a small bite. If it tastes sour or has an unusual taste, you know it’s time to throw it out.
When it comes to cheese, the general thumb rule is that the higher its moisture content, the sooner it is likely to spoil. Some cheeses have a shelf life of only a couple of days, while some others taste better as they age and develop a little mold on them.
At the end of the day, refrigerating cheese is the best way to extend its shelf life. It doesn’t matter what type of cheese you bring home, refrigerate it as soon as you get home.
Freeze the harder varieties of cheese to preserve them for longer. Lastly, after you use cheese, tightly wrap the remaining portions of it before putting it back in the refrigerator.