While there are different opinions regarding the manner in which string cheese is meant to be eaten, one thing always remains common- EVERYBODY LOVES STRING CHEESE! Be it for pizza, mac and cheese, hot dogs, burgers, or lasagna; string cheese is everywhere. This is why you’ll always find yourself with some string cheese on your way back from the grocery store.
Sometimes, even something as delicious as string cheese might get overlooked and stowed way back in the refrigerator. You might find it months later, and its tempting taste might prompt you to use it. But should you? What about its shelf life? Should you discard it?
All such questions will be answered in the following article. We shall shine a light on the best way to store string cheese to prevent it from going bad and the best way to determine its quality. So, shall we start?
How long does a string cheese last?
All the edibles come with packaging that mentions best before on it. And string cheese isn’t an exception to this.
All the varieties of string cheese available in the market have a specific best-before date. Also, no matter what brand you are investing in, string cheese has a good shelf life.
It is edible for a few months since the date of packaging, unlike buttermilk, which starts getting sour with time. In fact, string cheese is safe to consume even after 2 to 3 weeks of passing the expiry date.
Sounds amazing, right?
However, we still recommend our readers consume string cheese within seven days of opening the packaging. The quality starts to degrade over time, so it is best to consume it rather than throwing it away after months.
With a longer shelf-life than mozzarella, string cheese makes a favorite choice amongst cheese lovers.
Thinking of that, how long it will last in your tiffin is an obvious doubt to have. When added to a meal and packed in a lunchbox, it is perfectly edible for a day to live in a cold country.
String cheese has certain preservatives that do not make it go bad that quickly, even after a day in a lunchbox.
So yes, string cheese can be a part of your long trips, school/work lunch box, and long drives too.
But there is no denying the fact that it can go bad after a while.
And so here are some tips that will help you figure out if the string cheese is still edible or if you need to get rid of it and buy a new one for your next meal.
How to know if string cheese has gone bad?
Since string cheese is made from fermented sheep’s milk and cream with added preservatives, it does not quickly go bad as other daily products.
When it does, you will see clear signs, and we hope you don’t ignore them.
So basically, when a string cheese goes bad, you will often notice a bad smell. This odor is generally due to the accumulation of a bluish-grey type of fungus or organic content grown over it.
If you ever notice something like this growing over it, immediately throw it away, as consuming something like this can do more bad than good to your health.
You might not always find a mold on string cheese. Sometimes it’s just a tangy taste, just like spoiled milk. This is enough to discard it as soon as possible.
Sometimes, you might not notice any signs at all. But if you have had it opened for much longer than the desired time period for like a month or so, you still should avoid consuming it.
You can give it a try to examine it. In case it looks good and tastes fine, go ahead and use it. But if not, make sure you throw it away.
What happens if you consume bad String Cheese?
Never use old cheese in a lunchbox or give it to kids as it is fermented. Consuming such dairy products can lead to severe health issues we want you to avoid.
You can always avoid such a situation if you consume it before its best before date and store it appropriately. So here are a few things that will help you make the best use of string cheese to avoid wasting it.
How to store string cheese?
There is no denying the fact that the better you care longer it will last. However, string cheese is easy to store as it is available in both individual packages or several pieces in just one pack.
You also get this larger blocked-string cheese in the market.
So whatever you have right now in front of you, you just need to make sure you refrigerate it. It is just that simple with edibles.
If you have got it from a store’s refrigerator, it has to be kept in a fridge at home as well.
Small pieces are easy to pack. But if you have a larger block of string cheese, make sure you seal it in an air-tight container before you put it back into your refrigerator.
With smaller pieces in one package, transfer them into a resealable bag and remove all the air you can before you refrigerate it.
This is all to prevent cheese from drying out due to atmospheric air. If you have a leftover stick, you can simply cover it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to use it for a longer duration.
Freezing or No-Freezing?
People are often confused if cheese should be frozen or not. Well, from our personal experience, we do not really recommend freezing string cheese.
This is because the texture of post-freezing string cheese changes.
It tends to become more rubbery, and crumbles are formed. This makes it challenging to grate the cheese.
However, if you are planning to use it for cooking or as a topping, which generally does not require too many strings, you can surely freeze it.
So yes, you can freeze string cheese if you are okay with changing its texture. You just need to make sure you are using a freezer bag and obliterate the air for the same.
FAQs About String Cheese
What is string cheese made up of?
String cheese is made using fermented sheep’s milk and cream that is allowed to mature for 60 days. Hence it is also called naturally created cheese that is stretched and pulled by an auger while simultaneously being heated to 140 degrees to get the perfect stringiness.
Is string cheese similar to mozzarella?
Yes, string cheese is similar to mozzarella because it is the only cheese with stringiness. Like mozzarella cheese, string cheese is made with simple ingredients like milk, culture, and rennet.
The only difference between the two is that string cheese is stretched a lot more times than mozzarella, which gives string cheese more stringiness.
Can you keep string cheese at room temperature?
Well, since string cheese is a dairy product keeping it at room temperature will fasten the deterioration process. If not stored in a refrigerator, your cheese will likely go bad sooner than it would.
String cheese is a favorite food both for kids and adults and is quite easy to maintain with a pretty good shelf life. Yes, it obviously does go bad, but when appropriately stored will last longer.
If you are in doubt that the string cheese you bought a week ago is safe to consume, simply give it a taste. If you find it tangy, maybe it’s not safe to consume.
However, when the string cheese goes bad, you will see green or black fungus accumulated over it. Make sure you get rid of it.
To make your cheese last longer, store it in a sealed package in a refrigerator. Do not freeze it, as the quality or texture might differ.
Hope now you know exactly how to make the leftover string cheese last longer by storing it accurately.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Michael A. Antoine is a Sr. Chef at one of the leading chains of restaurants in the USA. He might raise hell in his kitchen, but his deep and practical knowledge about food and recipes helps us give you the best and tastiest recipes.