Tuesday, 5 February 2008

How much do sell-by dates matter?

I've done a lot of chucking out in the last 24 hours. Three pieces of cheese from mother-in-law's fridge, one from my own.

A couple of them were well over the hill (oldies are hopeless about sell-by dates) but mine, a piece of Comté that officially expired on the 28th of January didn't look too bad. I remember when I was a child my mum would have simply cut away the mould and cheerfully served up the rest but if I advised you to do that the health police would be down on me like a ton of bricks. So out it went.

What I should of course have done before going away was grate it and freeze it then I could have added it to a sauce or a topping. Hey ho . . .

I did however find an unopened box of Caprice des Dieux, a creamy brie-style cheese to which my youngest son is very partial but somehow escaped his attentions over Christmas. That expired on the 21st of January, almost two weeks ago, but looks - and smells - absolutely fine so I shall risk it. You wonder what they add to it to give it this kind of shelf-life. If I survive I'll report on the outcome.

To compensate for all this waste I raided the fridge and storecupboard for our lunch - spaghetti amatriciana-style made with some leftover pancetta (in date, I hasten to add), a small jar of tomato and chilli pasta sauce, extra garlic and a dash of red wine vinegar (useful for adding zip to shop bought sauces). Some parsley would have been nice but we haven't been shopping yet. That pleasure is to come.


lilymarlene said...

When I visited my elderly Mum a few weeks ago, I made an omelette from the eggs in her fridge.....dated last May!!!! Actually they were OK...surprisingly. I think there is a lot of fuss made about 'sell by' dates...far too conservative in my opinion...!

Fiona Beckett said...

Wow! That is quite scary. I wouldn't go that far. Still, presumably neither of you suffered any ill effects?!