How Long Does Gorgonzola Last? And Gone Bad?

Eww, It’s moldy! It must be spoiled, isn’t? It depends. You must be curious about how long does gorgonzola last once opened? and how to tell if it has gone bad? Here is the quick answer for you:

Normally, unopened gorgonzola can last 2-3 weeks in the fridge. If the package is opened, it will last for about a week or less. If sit out unrefrigerated, the mold/bacterial growth usually start to take place very quickly in just 4-10 hours. And, you may not spot them easy. If properly stored and past the expiration date, the gorgonzola might still be good to eat.

Gorgonzola is one of the blue cheese that has the beautiful blue veins, or sometimes in patches. It’s due to the blooming of mold Penicillium glaucum in the cheese. So, is gorgonzola supposed to be moldy?

Yes, gorgonzola is a mold-infested product – but not any random mold.

In fact, the whole wheel of cheese is likely to cover in mold and bacteria when aged for months. It’s common for workers to scrap off the mold before packing – for making it more appealing..

Eww, I know right..

But it’s totally safe to eat. The cheesemaking process has to be operated under a controlled environment for certain microorganisms to thrive, which often geographically bounded. That’s why some brands produce way better taste than the other. If you are not sure which one, I’d say this one on Amazon is pretty good but not sure if it’s still available now.

Take a look at the image below:

This is the gorgonzola in the aging stage which takes ~2 months. Image by Lori visiting an Italy cheese factory.

How to Know If it’s Bad?

When it gets soft and sticky, it means bad right? No. Gorgonzola is supposed to be semi-soft and smooth to cut, where some cheese dust might stick to the knife and that’s normal. If you are getting a young gorgonzola dolce, it tends to be softer almost like a butter.

So, how’s the good gorgonzola should look & taste like?

The perfectly matured gorgonzola should have a delicious taste of sweetness, strong aroma, sharp, buttery, and a slight crumbly but firm texture.

The gorgonzola gone bad has a few characteristics:

  • Unnatural new mold/bacteria growth — black/grey/white/yellow/pink mold could be in patches, small dots, or fuzzy on the cheese surface.
  • Smell/taste “off” — sour, rancid, putrid odor, ammonia or chemical-like, overpowering feet-like, spoiled milk.
  • Physically looks melted, wet and slimy texture. Sometimes can be harden, dried, and darken in color depending on how you store it.
There are a few more colonies I notice after, see upper right cluster of grey color mold.

Why Does Gorgonzola Cheese Stink?

It’s normal for gorgonzola to smell a little pungent with mild creamy aroma. Some people may reckon as sourness, or fair smelly. Gorgonzola’s stinkiness is considered mild-and-acceptable among the blue cheeses.

The smell is caused by the mold and bacteria that grows with the cheese. An example is a type of bacteria called B. linen which responsible for the smell. This is the same type of bacteria that makes your feet stink.

If you don’t want your gorgonzola to be too stinky, get the younger gorgonzola — dolce. The aged version is gorgonzola piccante, which tends to be stronger in smell, sharper taste and harder texture.

So, Is Moldy Gorgonzola still Safe to Eat?

Let’s be sensible. We don’t like to waste food, cheese in this case, but we always are forgetful.

So the deal here is the grandma-style inspection.

By that mean, If there is clearly mold inside the unopened package of gorgonzola, don’t eat it. Chances are, these microscopic bad boys could be very likely already contaminated the cheese during the process. You should discard it.

If not, you can simply avoid eating the moldy part of the gorgonzola by cutting off at least 1-inch around the spot.

For soft runny cheeses like brie and camembert, if you see some unnatural mold growing on it like the image above, you should throw them away.

If you store your cheese properly in the fridge, it can last for a couple of good weeks.

Past Expiration Date

In common sense, it should be discarded for perishable food like cheese that after the expiry date. Besides, gorgonzola is not as hard and dried like the parmesan (read comparison) which has a better shelf life.

But, we are doing the granny’s its-still-all-good fashion for not wasting food.

This is gorgonzola DOP dolce. The “preferibilmente entro” means “preferably by” in Italian.

That’s to say, most of the time the cheese is still good to eat even past the best-by date. It also depends on how you store them. What you need to do is to check for any weird looking mold, off smell and texture. Otherwise, you are good.

What if you want to store them for later use, slightly longer than a few weeks? Guess what, just freeze it.

Freeze it?

Yes, you can freeze the soft gorgonzola cheese in the freezer. The process is more or less the same as how you freeze the asiago cheese as I discussed in other article. If done properly, it will last for months in the freezer and still safe to eat beyond.

However, freezing and unfreezing the cheese will inevitably destroy some of the texture and flavour of the gorgonzola. It will not add to the “age” of the cheese maturation. Therefore, try not to freeze your gorgonzola unless you have no better option.

How to Store Unfinished Gorgonzola Properly?

If you bought too much gorgonzola at a sale or just can’t finish the cheese, here is what you can do:

  1. Use a clean knife and make sure your hands are cleaned.
  2. Sprinkle the surface of gorgonzola with some kosher salt (here is the salt).
  3. Wrap the cheese with a plastic wrap, parchment paper, wax paper or baking paper.
  4. Then, keep it in an airtight container, or use a plastic zipper bag but make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible.
  5. Store it in the fridge.

With that, your gorgonzola should be able to last for at least 2-3 weeks in the fridge. You can also cube the cheese first for easier take-and-go to reduce the contamination.

Takeaway

Gorgonzola serves best out of the bag, but might still be safe to eat if molded or expired. Use granny’s fashion inspection, it works 100%.

The good gorgonzola is always firm and smooth in texture, with milky aroma and a little pungent.

Bon Appétit!

My other article: This is how asiago has gone bad