Have a once opened but barely used and well sealed sack of KA rye
flour dated 6-6-07. Today is 1-4-08. Thoughts about using or not
using it? (Using it will save a trip to the store.)
Want to bake a sourdough rye.
"R. Fizek" wrote in news:T2Dfj.74$sH.64@trnddc04:
Back then, people actually did more cooking from scratch, and as such "sell
by/use by" dates were irrelevant. Until I started working nights, I bought
25# bags of flour and would go through that in a bout 2 weeks between
making sandwich bread, rolls, cakes, cookies, etc. That use by date was
irrelevant to me.
You've probably already made up your mind, but here's my $0.02 anyway.
The flour's probably rancid by now (personally, I'd skip it). But if
you're determined to use it, smell and taste a bit; if it's gone over,
you'll know immediately. You should probably also run a bit of flour
through a sieve and inspect for bugs -- well-sealed or not, it's possible
the package came into your home with bugs/larvae/eggs.
"M. Halbrook" ( email@example.com) writes:
No, I suspect it's more they actually trusted their senses. Remember,
"before" is a long time. There was a time when in various situations one
had to stock up for the year. There was also no central storage facility, so
once the harvest was over, there was no more until the next year, so the
clock starts ticking.
So if that bag of flour was really rancid smelling, then they might discard
it. If there were bugs in there, they might discard it. They looked, and
touched, and smelled, and used that to decide whether the food was useable
They likely also knew the tricks to compensate, so if that baking soda
wasn't as potent as it used to be, they knew what to do to ensure the
flapjacks were still good.
But, I get the impression they also weren't as fussy. "A bit of mold on
that cheese? No problem, we'll eat around it. We can't afford to waste it."
They also were likely more careful about keeping food. They knew
the harvest had to keep until next year, so they put in the effort to
store it properly, for the least food wasteage
The "best before" is a result of an isolation from the food, or at
the very least an isolation of the food from where it comes. Let someone
else take care of the problem.
Eat around it? Cheese *is* mold, or mold is cheese.
But you're quite correct about learning to use and trust your senses,
rather than some overly cautious "Use-by" date. With careful storage,
most foods are fine, well after the date a store shouldn't sell them.
Dave Bell ( snipped-for-privacy@TheSPAMFREEBells.net) writes:
Some is, some isn't.
There was a period when I made tofu for a couple of years (and stopped because
for the return it was quite a bit of work). I suddenly understood all that
bit about "curds and whey" in reference to cheese, since the process
is similar with tofu. No mold involved, there is a coagulant to solidify
things. Obviously some cheeses do involve mold, but not all.
And oddly, you can have mold growing on items that do involve mold. I
better throw out that yogurt, because while the process of making yogurt
involves mold, that bit sitting at the back of the refrigerator for too
many weeks has some other unwanted kind of mold on it.
All true... I was taking some liberties, saying cheese == mold.
The point was that for most (aged) cheeses, the primary mold to grown on
it is the same as grew in it.
As for yogurt - you're right to toss it. Yogurt is fermented by a
bacterium, and any mold you see is a foreign overgrowth.
In article , firstname.lastname@example.org says...
I usually refrigerate or freeze my rye flours and all my whole wheat
flours. This gives them a very long shelf life. If your flour has been
refrigerated or frozen, go ahead and use it, you should be fine.
If you haven't refrigerated or frozen your flour, that's a tougher call.
If it is a light rye, I think there is no problem. With a medium or
dark rye, there could be issues.
In any case, I'd smell it. The key problem with whole grain flours is
that the oils in them can get rancid. If you smell rancid or funky
notes, pitch the flour and buy fresh. Rancidity is a chemical breakdown
of the oils through oxidation, and it is not a short term health
problem, and not a long term one if you don't make a steady diet of
rancid foods. However, they are not as wholesome - or tasty - as fresh
Hope that helps.