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Crystal like substance on vacuum packed cheese.

Discussion in 'Smoked Cheese' started by darwin101, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. darwin101

    darwin101 Meat Mopper

    Hi all,
    I cold smoked a few cheap store brand blocks of cheese (8oz) wrapped them in parchment paper and vacuum sealed them. I let the blocks air dry for a day in the refrigerator, then I wrapped and sealed them. The vacuum & seal are still good, but I noticed a crystal like formation on the edges of a couple blocks of the cheese (not all of them). It kinda looks like salt, I guess I should have tasted it. Anyway the cheese is fine, I just scraped off the crystals and used as normal.
    I would like to understand what this is, how it happened and how to avoid this in the future. Anyone know what, why and how of this?
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    pictures always help...
  3. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Did I understand correctly - did you vacuum seal them while still wrapped in parchment paper?

  4. idahopz

    idahopz Smoking Fanatic

    I see that quite often in aged cheeses, even when not smoked. I've never worried about it.
  5. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    HAPpens to me as well. Not sure why but I’ve always eaten it. Dozens and dozens of times. Still breathing so it’s all good.

    Of course I had the wife try it first and when she didn’t show any ill symptoms I knew it was ok. :)

    Shiner ECV and crazzycajun like this.
  6. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, I donno Scott....
    You did mis-spell your own name. :confused:

    Gottcha! ;)
  7. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My folks always simply trimmed off anything growing on the outside of cheeses.
    Always was good on the inside.
    Except for Limburger. Limburger always smelled like a butt. Us kids always called it "Stinky Cheese".
  8. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Lol sonny! Fat thumbs I guess!

  9. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Naw... Welcome to the Human Race! :D;)
  10. Yeah Limburger smells nasty and I only had it once. It tasted like what I imagine heavily used sweat socks left in a gym locker for a year would taste like.
    SonnyE likes this.
  11. darwin101

    darwin101 Meat Mopper

    Yea, the cheese has been ageing for about a year. I woke up above the lawn this morning, so I guess all is well. Glad to see it's not only me finding this and not overly worried about it. Next time I see this I will take a few pictures.
    Thanks all!
  12. I found the same thing on a block of cheese before. Due to a severe mold allergy (have to toss anything with even the tiniest spot of mold on it) I looked it up and found that it wasn't mold. It is something called Calcium Lactate Crystals. Completely harmless. The crystals form on perfectly aged cheeses and also on cheeses with loose packaging and also cheeses that have suffered from temperature abuse (i.e. heated and cooled too rapidly). Hope this helps some.
    darwin101 and yankee2bbq like this.
  13. yankee2bbq

    yankee2bbq Smoking Fanatic

    Good information! Thanks for your research!
  14. darwin101

    darwin101 Meat Mopper

    Thanks Mom of 3. :)
    I googled Calcium Lactate crystals and the first link explained it. Now I also understand the occasional crunchy bits in aged Parmesan. (I also could have done a bit more research before asking here!)

    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  15. You are welcome, darwin101! I actually felt a little giddy that I could actually answer something here... instead of my usual o_O when someone posts a question. LOL
    darwin101 likes this.