Author Topic: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?  (Read 12787 times)

Offline biondanonima

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Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« on: May 19, 2009, 03:36:38 PM »
Until I learn how to make my own, I'm stuck with store-bought brie cheese.  Luckily, I have plenty of good cheese shops around that carry excellent brie, so it's not such a hardship!  However, I occasionally have to buy brie at warehouse stores and I have had variable luck in getting brie that is properly ripened.  Sometimes it's fine, and sometimes it's really not.  So, what to do?  I've tried leaving the uncut wheels out at room temperature for a few days or even a week or two (wrapped in their original paper wrapping), but I'm never sure when enough is enough.  Is there a good way to tell, other than just cutting and hoping for the best?  Thanks!


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2009, 03:38:44 PM »
Tough question. First off I don't think leaving it at room temp is what you should be doing. When you make brie it gets ripened in a coldish enviorment. And secondly once it's cut open it stops maturing. Bries come in large wheels 18" or more, try finding camembert as camembert comes in 4" wheels that are not cut open and would be better candidates for further aging. The only difference between Camembert and brie is the size of the wheel althought that changes the taste of course.
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Offline John (CH)

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2009, 07:35:25 AM »
Good response from Carter, agree that maturing outside of fridge in room temp is not good.

I've also heard that P candidum (white mold) cheeses stop maturing when cut, but I haven't seen reasoning why. That said, once in a store, the uncut Camemberts I pressed were significantly firmer than the cut Brie's, leaving me to believe the Brie's are a point and ready to be eaten vs the Camemberts which supposedly will continue to ripen at home in your fridge.

I bought the Brie and made a short review of it here. I aged it an extra month from store in our fridge. Sadly I didn't cut and eat some when bought vs 1 month later to tell if it extra aged. But you can see a little extra white mold on sides where it had been cut but nothing dramatic.

There's also a video clip of how to choose a store bought Camembert here.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2009, 11:36:43 AM »
It stops aging when cut probably becuase of oxidation, exposure to the air.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline biondanonima

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 03:54:03 PM »
Hm, interesting.  I don't try to age cut brie, only whole wheels.  When I buy a piece of brie already cut, it's pretty easy to tell whether it's ripe enough because it's oozing out of the sides of the rind!  However, my Costco sells 20oz intact wheels that are about 8-10 inches across, and they are sometimes not as ripe as I want them.  Leaving them (wrapped) at room temperature definitely ripens them, but obviously not in a controlled way.  Leaving them in the fridge doesn't allow them to ripen at all.  Sounds to me like the answer is: buy a cheese fridge that you can keep at 55 degrees if you want your brie properly ripened!


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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2009, 06:59:40 PM »
I hate to burst everyone's collective bubbles but unless you are purchasing traditional brie in a store (very unlikely unless it's a cheese shop) you are buying stabilized product that will not ripen or will no ripen properly.  Stabilised brie/cams use thermo and have cooked/stirred curds.  They are as ripe on day 1 as they are on day 50, theonly difference is the older one has some white mold on it.

Offline biondanonima

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2009, 09:43:59 AM »
Francois, that is interesting.  The brie I purchase from Costco is a stabilized product, I"m sure, but I have bought wheels that are nicely ripe all the way through and wheels that are sort of runny on the outside and chalky/dry on the inside, so they must ripen somehow - just obviously not in a controlled way.  Anyway, I have a wheel right now that I am doing a little experiment with - I left it in the fridge for about a month past the "best by" date, and now I'm letting it sit in a sealed tupperware with a little dish of water for humidity at cool room temperature for a little while to see what happens.  Thus far (it's been out for about 6 days), it has acquired a little extra white mold on the outside and seems to be nicely softened internally.  I"m going to keep watching it and will put it back in the fridge if it seems to have gotten out of hand.  I'll report back on the results!

Offline biondanonima

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2009, 04:52:37 PM »
Well, my experiment wasn't a disaster but it wasn't a success either.  The brie was no runnier/riper in the center than any other wheel I've bought but the rind was quite a bit drier/tougher.  I think I should simply stick to buying REAL brie from the cheesemonger that is already properly ripened.

Offline winstonsc

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2010, 10:13:29 AM »
I have long been frustrated with buying Brie and Camembert in the US.  Out of frustration, I called Lactalis Deli, Inc. which is a subsidiary of France-based Groupe Lactalis.  Apparently they used to import real French versions of Brie and Camembert but the products wouldn't sell because they were runny and had those special flavors that I am looking for!

Their President brand cheeses are made in Wisconsin and California and are specially formulated for the US market so that they will never ripen and will never have that special taste.  Why?  Because that's what sells.  Their packaging does not indicate where the cheese comes from, only that it is distributed by Lactalis Deli, Inc.

I have a local cheesemaker who produces a fine Brie that can be ripened, but I was told that most Americans will not eat it that way.  He recommends that I leave it on the kitchen counter, wrapped and uncut for 10 days.  I live in the cool Pacific Northwest and this works well but I think that anywhere else, I would leave it in my wine cooler where I age cheddar.

Offline SueVT

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 07:35:04 PM »
I make brie all the time... and you should probably do this, it's one of the easiest cheeses to do.....  check pictures at my blog:  http://knowwhey.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-not-camembert.html

You can make much better brie than you can buy, if you can get some high-quality milk.

However, you *could* ripen many store-bought bries, because mostly they are not dead.  I can't speak for some of the worst ones, which possibly have been neutralized somehow.  But, the point about brie (same as camembert), is that it is a surface-ripened cheese; the white mold on the outside is actually responsible for the flavor, texture, and progressive softening of the curd.

Also, I have many times cut a small piece out of a wheel, and then put it back in the box to continue ripening.  It doesn't stop, because it ripens from the Outside In.  (I ripen them in plastic food storage boxes, the kind with a little hole in the lid, for keeping lettuce or vegetables in the fridge).

I ripen at cave temp, which is around 52 degrees.  Any warmer than that, and the pace of ripening is uneven with a series of possible undesirable results.  Colder than that, and ripening is slowed, and eventually the cheese will get dried out...

So if you had a French brie, you could ripen it further, I'd say. 
Cheers,
Sue in VT.


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2010, 02:55:48 AM »
I am curious SueVT, do you do it at 52F through the entire period? For how long and what humidity? You must be getting the white bloom and wrapping very early. I have had quite a few successful ones, but my last Goats' batch and another Cows' batch in December were 55F for 7 days, then reduced to 41F for 14 days. Both came out extremely liquidy under the skin with an underdeveloped center. I got quite a few conflicting advices on this and I am trying to find one consistently-good process. Any tips?
See my thread with photos from yesterday here: http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,3077.0.html

Offline SueVT

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2010, 05:59:50 AM »
yes, all the ripening is done in my cellar, or in my cheese fridge.  Cellar is around 60, fridge is 52.  I have found that ripening at 60 goes too quickly, and can really be a problem.  You can get undesirable yeasts going, which may be the separating problem you're having.

I don't wrap until I take them out of the boxes, but the boxes are sort of like a wrap, in that they permit a bit of air to circulate.  I can provide a lot more info if you like!

I have done extensive research into this kind of cheese, and I agree, the info on temperature is conflicting and vague, even on official AOC sites.  However, the main point is to ripen at a temperature where ripening can happen at a reasonable pace.  That means, not in your kitchen and not in a cold fridge.  You need a cool spot, with humidity.

Hope this helps... and if you need help making your own, let me know!
Sue

Offline sominus

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2010, 10:04:21 AM »
My wife recently bought a brie wedge at a local store that was odd... It was a President brand, in a green foil wrapping.  When opened, it was white on all surfaces, looking like the cheese was molded in that wedge shape for aging/maturation to make it easy to package and sell while still immature.

The resultant rind was thick, hard and musty -- the cheese inside was not soft at all and was relatively bland...

We tossed it.
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Offline SueVT

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2010, 11:04:15 AM »
This would be much harder to do with a wedge because of the mismatch in development
Between the rind an the cut edge.
Again,the white mold is what causes ripening.
The growth of additional mold of the same type on the
Cut edge is to be expected and doesn't mean it has gone bad.

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Store Bought Stabilized White Mold Cheeses - Ripening?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2010, 02:00:16 PM »
It's a stabilized product.  It is made in wheel form and wire cut into wedges at packing (about 10 days old).  It will not ripen over time.  Stabilized products tend to have higher variability in quality because of the vintage of the equipment used.  Newer Servi bucket systems yield better results but are not wide spread in the US as of yet.

The cutting edge now is direct set UF.  I don't think this product is UF from memory, but an older stabilized recipe.  If it was the color would look un natural and the flavor is bad to non-existant.