Feta is a classic Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk and sometimes combined with goat’s milk. It is often used in salads and Mediterranean dishes to provide a tangy and salty flavor. However, it’s essential to know how long feta lasts to avoid waste.
What Is Feta Cheese?
Feta cheese comes from Greece, where it’s been made for thousands of years. It’s typically made from the milk of sheep or a combination of sheep and goat milk.
The cheese is brined, which gives it a salty taste and a crumbly texture. Authentic feta cheese is a protected designation of origin (PDO) product, which means that it can only be made in specific regions of Greece.
How Long Does Feta Last?
The length of time that feta cheese lasts depends on several factors:
- Type of feta: There are two types of feta: authentic PDO feta and non-PDO feta. Authentic feta lasts longer than non-PDO feta.
- Storage: Feta should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.
- Quality: The quality of the feta cheese can affect its shelf life. Fresh, high-quality feta may last longer than lower-quality cheese.
Authentic PDO Feta
Authentic feta is made in specific regions of Greece using traditional methods. It’s often sold in large blocks and can last up to three months in the fridge.
However, it’s best to consume the cheese within two weeks of opening the packaging. After that time, the cheese may dry out and lose flavor.
Non-PDO feta is made outside of Greece and may have a shorter shelf life than authentic feta. The cheese may also be sold in smaller, crumbled pieces.
This type of feta can last up to two weeks in the fridge if stored correctly. It should be kept in an airtight container to prevent it from drying and absorbing other flavors in the fridge.
Tips for Preserving Your Feta Cheese
Here are some tips for keeping your feta cheese fresh for as long as possible:
- Store the cheese in the fridge: Feta cheese should be kept in the fridge in an airtight container. This will help prevent it from drying out and absorbing other flavors.
- Keep it away from strong-smelling foods: Feta cheese can absorb the flavors of other foods in the fridge, so it’s best to keep it away from strong-smelling foods.
- Do not freeze feta cheese: Freezing feta cheese can destroy its texture and flavor.
- Use a fresh brine: If your feta cheese comes with a brine, make sure to use it to keep the cheese fresh.
How to Tell if Feta Cheese Has Gone Bad
Feta cheese can go bad if it’s old or if it’s not stored correctly. Here are some signs that your feta cheese has gone bad:
- Mold: If your feta cheese has mold growing on it, it’s no longer safe to eat.
- Off smell: If the cheese smells sour or rotten, it may have gone bad.
- Discoloration: If the cheese has a yellow or brown tinge, it may have gone bad.
How long does feta cheese last in the fridge?
The length of time that feta cheese lasts in the fridge depends on whether it’s authentic PDO feta or non-PDO feta. Authentic feta can last up to three months, while non-PDO feta can last up to two weeks. However, it’s best to consume the cheese within two weeks of opening the packaging.
Can you freeze feta cheese?
It’s not recommended to freeze feta cheese because the texture and flavor may be destroyed.
Can you eat feta cheese after the expiration date?
Feta cheese should not be eaten after the expiration date, even if it looks and smells okay. The expiration date is a good indication of when the cheese is no longer safe to consume.
What foods pair well with feta cheese?
Feta cheese pairs well with several foods, including salads, sandwiches, and Mediterranean dishes like Greek salad and tabbouleh.
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