baby ate a bad bad cheese...

| Say Cheese!
I'm prone to try a lot of interesting, perhaps strange foods at times... on purpose... but what tends to shake me is when I end up eating something that is just totally unexpectedly bad...

Today for instance. What made it worse was that it was something I know to be actually quite good... just not this particular time. Perhaps you are familiar with Grafton's 2 year old Reserve Cheddar? A rather pleasant example of a sharp Vermont style cheddar... creamy, tangy, delicious...

Well, I went to crack open a new delivery and the bag my brick of cheese was in was bloated a pillowy. While this was not a new phenomenon (a lot of cryovaced cheeses will emit some gasses in storage and produce bloating like that... usually CO2, nothing weird)... the smell to come was.

As soon as I sliced open the plastic, the kitchen was filled with a strong sour rotten egg scent, gassy and extremely sulphuric... Our faces mirrored one another in a moment of "WTF"

I removed the cheese and set it on the counter to air out, and while it did I hopped on the computer to google up some information. I was unable to find anything about whether this phenomenon was actually bad or not. I did however find some rather interesting scientific studies as to the effects of various starter cultures, enzymes, and aging processes upon the emissions that cheeses may have.

What I found out about sulphuric gasses was that they are natural... sometimes caused by certain enzymes... sometimes by what was called accelerated aging... which however was unclear as to whether that meant an artificial induction of aging or an acceleration caused by reactions to said enzymes or what.

Without a concrete "Don't eat that!" I simply waited while the cheese aired out. The smell mellowed, and there was but a faint hint of egg, so I decided to cut into it and find what I might find... as I laid it down, a chunk fell off and I picked it up.

Maybe a normal person would have stopped there... or maybe just thrown the sucker out before even opening it! But not me.

I picked up the little chunk and rolled it in my fingers... it felt as it should... firm and slightly moist/oily... I smelled it and could detect again just a hint of something off... so I popped it into my mouth.

The second it hit my tongue, my senses were assaulted by the most horrendous and overwhelming flavor of... rot. nasty. sulphuric. rot. I felt as if I had slipped a hard boiled egg into my mouth that had been eaten and excreted whole. I ran for the trash, and then for the front of the store where I purchased a Blenheim's Hot Ginger Ale and proceeded to gargle and chug to erase the foulness that had smeared itself upon my palette.

So... for future referece: rotten egg smell? BAD!

I know now... and knowing is half the battle.

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This page contains a single entry by Emiliano Silva Lee published on February 4, 2009 11:00 PM.

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