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In cooking class the other night, a student asked, “What should I wrap cheese in?”

Being a smart-aleck, I responded, “cheesecloth!”

“Will cheesecloth keep the cheese fresh for a longer time?”

I don’t keep cheese in my refrigerator for a long time; I recommend buying and using it, not self-aging in your refrigerator. Use it or lose it.

The student continued, “I remember that my mother would sprinkle vinegar on cheese when it got moldy. Does vinegar remove the mold and is it okay to eat?”

“Cheese is a kind of mold,” I answered. “Vinegar does inhibit the growth of mold on the cheese and vinegar is edible, although I prefer to cut off the mold. But it’s better to use vinegar than bleach!” I’m still being a little smart-alecky.

“I have a block of Velveeta that’s moldy. Should I put vinegar on it?”

I looked deeply into her eyes, is she teasing me or is she serious? She is very serious. The other members of the class were looking at her. “What cheese did you say?”


I wanted to answer, “Velveeta is not a cheese!” But I stopped myself. I answered carefully, “I am sure that the vinegar will not hurt velveeta.” Bleach probably wouldn’t hurt it either. Either way, adding something might improve the flavor, I thought.

My question is, how long do you have to keep Velveeta for mold to appear? Years?

2 Comments for “A Not-so Cheesy Story”  

  1. Roger S

    I find that ordinary rat cheese will keep for a year or more in the refrigerator, if it is in its original wrapping. If well-wrapped, it will keep for months. If it gets moldy, I just cut the mold off and eat the rest. Not sure about Velveeta.

  2. Anne

    Do you really want to eat a cheese called “rat”? I think I’d rather eat provel!