Can I Eat It?
October 21, 2012 10:35 PM   Subscribe

Can I Eat It: Blue Cheese Olives?

I bought a jar of blue cheese olives yesterday. Minutes ago, I opened the jar and found some greenish goop around the top of the olives. The tops of the olives were exposed above the brine, and the pale green goop seems to be mostly above the waterline. The cheese stuffed in the olives looks very white.

Is this normal for blue cheese olives, or should I discard and get a new jar tomorrow?

Bonus question: are blue cheese olives delicious in a martini?
posted by b1tr0t to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't answer the question about whether or not you should eat them - sorry. I usually avoid eating mine once they start growing their own mold.

However, I can tell you that without a doubt, blue cheese olives make the very best martinis.
posted by honeybee413 at 10:37 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Good news on the martini compatibility!

I can't tell if this is new mold growth or just cheese bits that floated and kind of conglomerated together. It was weird enough to not go into tonight's martini.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:46 PM on October 21, 2012

I'm going to vote no, but did you hear/register the top popping from the vacuum?
posted by vegartanipla at 10:47 PM on October 21, 2012

I'm going to vote no, but did you hear/register the top popping from the vacuum?
yes, the top definitely popped, so no botulism.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:52 PM on October 21, 2012

I wouldn't even consider it, but if you are determined to consider it... I've heard of this happening with plain olives, but it's definitely not "normal". You can try skimming off the mold and smelling/touching the olives. If they smell off or are softer than normal, discard. The difficulty is that blue cheese always smells funky so it may be difficult to tell. Beware any blue cheese that turns yellow (in the white parts) or smells of ammonia.
posted by acidic at 11:12 PM on October 21, 2012

Does the greenish goop look like mold, or does it look like solidified olive oil? Did you store them in the fridge where the oil can solidify?
posted by koolkat at 1:04 AM on October 22, 2012

a) does the food in question have mold on it?
b) is consuming this food your only option to avoid death by malnutrition?

If you answered "yes" and "no", don't eat it. Crikey.
posted by ominous_paws at 2:10 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can you call the manufacturer and ask?
posted by spunweb at 2:24 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Take out some of the green goop and VERY mildly heat it in some warm water. If it turns into olive oil? Then it's olive oil. Otherwise? Throw out the entire jar and, if necessary, the refrigerator and the kitchen as well.
posted by 1adam12 at 4:51 AM on October 22, 2012 [4 favorites]

Dude, just take the jar back where you bought them and ask for a refund.

In the future, go to the Delallo Olive Bar at your local market and get them fresh. They're SO much better!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:36 AM on October 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

Dude, just take the jar back where you bought them and ask for a refund.
Yeah - that's my plan. But I wanted to make sure that this wasn't a totally normal thing for blue cheese olives to do.
posted by b1tr0t at 1:47 PM on October 22, 2012

It's mold. And it's 99.9% likely to be completely harmless.

Black and red molds tend to add repugnant flavors to cheeses, IMO. White and blueish/greenish molds are generally penicillium relatives, and add, well, blue-cheese-like flavors.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:59 AM on October 24, 2012

Conclusion: I took the jar of olives back to the store today. The customer service person offered to let me grab a replacement jar, so I went back to the olive section and dug around. Every single jar, when tilted back, appeared to have weird gunk near the top. So I brought back a jar of blue cheese olives and some ordinary olives. I pointed out that all the jars seemed moldy, and they let me take the non-cheese olives instead.

Sadly, that store only carries a single brand of blue-cheese stuffed olives. I'll either stuff my own olives (I've got a nice wedge of blue cheese already) or stick with the ordinary martini and leave the cheese for the crackers.
posted by b1tr0t at 4:04 PM on October 25, 2012

Sounds like bits of the mold break off from the cheese, and are less dense than the oil. I bet there were whitish chunks of cheese crumbs at the bottom, too.

Just guesses - if all of them have it, it's unlikely to be spoilage.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:45 AM on October 26, 2012

There were definitely white bits at the bottom. Like the cheese stuffed in the olives, it was bright white. The stuff on top had a weird blue-green look to it. The customer service person seemed appalled when she opened the jar, but maybe both of us were unsophisticated blue-cheese-olive-rubes?
posted by b1tr0t at 6:12 PM on October 26, 2012

Likely bits of Penicillium roquefortii, then, or a closely related species. I suppose the fruiting bodies, trapping air bubbles in-between the "stems", would be less dense and float atop oil.

Anyway, perfectly harmless.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:16 PM on October 29, 2012

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