Can I eat this dipping sauce?
July 7, 2024 12:57 PM   Subscribe

I had some artisanal 'spicy sweet soy sauce' sitting unopened for a couple of years. When I opened it, the cork came out with a pop and a swirl of smoke. Can I still eat it?

I have a bottle of artisanal dipping sauce (ingredients: soy, water, salt, wheat, plus chillies, sugar, sesame seeds), made with microbatch soy sauce that is fermented for two years. I forgot about it after buying it, and it lived in a dark spot at room temperature for two years. It's now about 3 months past its best before date.

Last night I uncorked it. The bottle was well sealed and had never been opened. When I opened it, the cork came out with a solid little pop, and a little swirl of vapour rose up. It smells like, well, soy sauce.

If it were plain soy sauce I would probably use it without hesitation, but the additions (sugar, chilli, sesame seeds) are giving me pause. About 90% of the time I fall on the 'eat it' side of 'can I eat it', and it takes a lot to poison me anyway, but at the moment I'm alone so if I were to be ill it would be a hassle.

Answers preferred from those who have actual experience of small-batch/handmade/artisanal sauces rather than kikkoman etc. I would be grateful not to be berated about food safety.

I have emailed the makers, but I expect they will give the most cautious answer for a customer rather than what they would do in their own homes.
posted by tavegyl to Food & Drink (2 answers total)
Best answer: I would do shots of this (delicious salt!) without hesitation. The salt level should keep any nasties from reproducing, and from your description, it sounds like it was very well sealed.
posted by She Vaped An Entire Sock! at 1:07 PM on July 7

It should be fine. The metric I use for "how expired is this substance" is, by what fraction of its total lifetime is it past its best-before date? In your case, the shelf life after bottling was at least 21 months (purchase date to best-before date). It is now at most 3/21 = 14% of a "lifetime" past its best-before date. That is not a large fraction.
posted by heatherlogan at 1:23 PM on July 7

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