Why does my mascarpone taste weird?
November 17, 2009 4:08 PM   Subscribe

Why does my mascarpone taste like alcohol and mushrooms? Is it supposed to taste like that?

I don't buy cheese often, and when I do, I'm usually a harvarti or brie kind of person. But tonight I was at a little Italian grocer and decided to try something new. I picked up a package labelled "Torta Mascarpone". When I opened it, it smelled strongly like alcohol. It tastes like alcohol and mushrooms. Not too enticing...

From what little I could find on google, it looks like I've accidentally bought a mascarpone that has a blue cheese mixed in, so that could explain the ick factor. But I've also read that both kinds of cheese go bad fast. Could the alcohol taste mean that it's gone past its prime?

Anyone had this kind of cheese before? Is it supposed to taste like this?
posted by snailparade to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
I've had it before but don't remember an alcohol smell (perhaps someone with a better nose than I and more familiarity with the torta marscarpone can pinpoint exactly what the typical smell should be). I'm usually not a fan of blue cheese, but the torta marscarpone mixed with cream as an alfredo sauce on really good pasta with good parmesan is fucking delicious. Totally fattening, but YUM.
posted by pised at 4:49 PM on November 17, 2009

Was there actually a seal over the top of the container? If not, it could have picked up flavors being shipped/sitting in the case. If there was a seal, check the expiration date, those smells could be a sign of the beginning of spoilage.
posted by TheBones at 5:12 PM on November 17, 2009

Best answer: Gorgonzola gone bad smells like ammonia (or week-old socks). Mascarpone gone bad smells like rotten milk, rancid fat.

I can see the aroma of blue cheese described as 'mushroom' when diluted and 'tamed' by the almost-odorless mascarpone, but alcohol smell or taste shouldn't definitely be there.
posted by _dario at 5:27 PM on November 17, 2009

Mascapone shouldn't taste like that, so take it back to the shop. It should taste smoothly creamy and only slightly cheesy, no sourness, alcohol or mushrooms.
posted by anadem at 7:01 PM on November 17, 2009

i think mascarpone oxidates (or something) pretty fast once opened -- maybe it was a packaging problem?
posted by 3mendo at 5:14 AM on November 18, 2009

Response by poster: thanks for the input, everyone. i think the ammonia smell (gorgozola gone bad) probably nails it. EW.
posted by snailparade at 7:59 PM on November 19, 2009

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