Why Does Swiss Cheese Taste Sour?(Guide)

Why Does Swiss Cheese Taste Sour?

Why Does Swiss Cheese Taste Sour?

Swiss cheese has holes in it and it’s made by mixing two or more natural cheeses and salting one of the cheeses before drying it.

The salty cheese will naturally produce holes in the other due to osmosis over time. This process takes about 2 to 3 weeks for smaller holes, which will increase with larger ones due to the added weight of salt in the mixture.

Swiss cheese taste sour because it’s made with a culture called Propionibacterium Shermanii which is used to acidify milk in the cheese-making process. Several other factors, including the color of the rind, taste, texture, and moisture content can cause the cheese to taste sour.

These bacteria are what cause the cheese to have a distinctive taste and can be found in other types of cheeses as well.

American James Kraft developed the Swiss Cheese in Switzerland to make cheddar cheese more shelf-stable, and it became an instant hit.

This bacterium is one of three dairy starter cultures, the others being lactic acid and thermophilic starter cultures. It’s used to acidify milk in the cheese-making process and to make the cheese have a sharp, sour taste.

Propionibacterium shermanii is generally found in the stomachs of humans and cows. You can also find this bacterium in soft cheeses, such as Gouda, Edam, Camembert, and Brie.

The enzyme produced during these cheeses’ ripening period gives them distinctive flavors. The enzyme known as alpha-hemolysin is responsible for the taste of these cheeses.

These bacteria isn’t found naturally in cow’s milk, but you add it during cheese-making.

Cheese producers add this bacterium to increase their cheese’s shelf life, which helps form a thickened mass (curds) after mashing. This process is called acidification.

The curd produced by the bacterium is harder to break down and keeps the cheese from spoiling.

Is It Normal for The Cheese to Taste Sour?

Yes. Many factors can cause the cheese to taste sour, ranging from improper storage to exposure to other types of bacteria. However, most dairy products have a small amount of naturally occurring lactic acid.

This is produced by specific bacteria that live in the rind and are responsible for rancidity, making some cheeses taste more strongly.

Several other factors, including the color of the rind, taste, texture, and moisture content, can cause the cheese to taste sour.

Why Does Swiss Cheese Taste Sour?

The color of the rind and the type of bacteria on the rind will impact the taste. For example, Brie has an edible white rind covered with a layer of Penicillium candidum mold.

This mold and Brevibacterium linens coverings contribute to its distinctive smell and taste.

If the cheese is old, the flavor deteriorates, and you should discard it. However, if a cheese still tastes sour after refrigerating or storing it correctly, it may be moldy.

You should not eat Moldy cheeses, and you should discard them. You can cut off at least 1/4 inch from all sides of the cheese to remove mold.

Some cheeses can taste sour from improper storage. String cheese, a soft white cheese with a strong flavor, will taste sour when you store it in the refrigerator for too long.

You should not refrigerate this cheese for more than two weeks.

A cheese can also taste sour due to other types of bacteria that have been introduced, such as salmonella.

If a person becomes ill from eating cheese and has diarrhea, fever, or vomits, it’s possible to connect the illness with this type of bacteria.

How Do You Get Rid of The Sour Taste in Cheese? -5 Ways

Ways Description
Cut The Curd SmallerCutting the curd smaller allows the milk proteins to release their sourness, the sharper the cheese, the more the protein.  

For example, if you make a cheddar cheese-like cut, start with a larger curd size and work your way down until it stops tasting sour.

Wait For AgingAllow your cheese to age before eating it, and wait for at least 2-3 months before eating it so that bacteria can break down some of its molecules or add in new flavors that can mask the sour taste.
Cut The Curd FreshCheese is made from curd, which is a milk protein. If the milk has too much acidity, cheese can be sour or tart in taste.  

The longer it takes for this milk protein to be broken down by bacteria, the more bitter the cheese will taste

Add Some SaltCheesemakers use salt to mellow out and develop their cheeses. Salt can also add more flavor and balance out the sour taste of cheese.
Develop Your Starter CultureA starter culture contains “good” bacteria that help break down proteins in the milk and release fats, which give the cheese its creaminess.

What Cheeses Are Tangy?

 Tangy Cheeses
Cheese                        Description
Hoja Santa-Feta Cheese is made by salting and curdling sheep or goat milk.

-Feta makes a great ingredient for adding flavor to salads, pasta dishes, soup, and other dishes.

-To make Feta cheese, the milk is pasteurized and refrigerated for 12 hours before being salted.

-Then the curds are placed in a strainer and turned over to drain off excess whey.

-Another way to make feta is to place the curds in a cheesecloth, which is then hanged and drained overnight.

-The cheese is then placed into a bowl and mixed with salt. The feta is ready to eat after three to four days when its flavor fully develops.

ManchegoManchego Cheese is made by adding bacteria to pasteurized sheep’s milk and letting it coagulate.  

-The bacteria used to make Manchego cheese is the same bacterial family used to make yogurt, that’s why the two cheeses taste similar.

-Manchego Cheese becomes firm after being aged for at least one month. Its color turns from light yellow to a rich brown, and its flavor deepens with age .
HarvartiHavarti is a Danish cheese named after a village in Denmark where it was first produced.  

-Havarti is made from cow’s milk, which gives it a yellowish color and mild flavor.

-The taste of Havarti becomes milder as the cheese ages, with its flavor becoming stronger after four months.

CheddarCheddar Cheese is made by adding a lactic acid starter culture to cow’s milk and letting it ripen until its curd becomes firmer.  

The curd is then cut into cubes and stirred continuously for 30 to 45 minutes before being placed in a vat to coagulate.

Does Swiss Colony Need to Be Refrigerated?

Yes, It would be best if you refrigerated to maintain the integrity of its product. When you’re not using it, freeze some of it. It will keep it fresh and help with the freezer burn.

Swiss Colony is proud of its products and insists on quality, which means they must keep them cold.

When you don’t have refrigeration, it may be tempting to ruin the integrity of your Swiss Colony by microwaving it and eating it as we Americans are so prone to do.

This can ruin the taste of your Swiss Colony product. The team at Swiss Colony advises that if you don’t want to eat your entire package in one sitting, then freeze some for a rainy day.

Swiss Colony is delicious, but it can spoil if not refrigerated. Suppose it starts to smell funny. You might have a problem.

Why Does Swiss Cheese Taste Sour?

If you open your package and find that your cheese or butter has gone bad, throw it away. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it spoils. The only remedy is throwing it out and buying new cheese.

Swiss Colony products range from pasteurized skim milk and cream cheese to whole milk and buttermilk, cookies, cheeses, desserts, baking mixes, breakfast foods, and more.

It has such a wide variety that you’ll probably be able to find something that you like out of the Swiss Colony brand.

What Does Bad Cheese Smell Like?

When cheese becomes rotten, it smells like sour milk, ammonia, or methane gas. The smell is often described as “rotting feet” or “wet dog.”

And the smell will intensify if you refrigerate it. Cheese smell so intense when it’s gone bad because as bacteria and mold growth; they release enzymes that break down fats and proteins in the cheese.

Bacteria also produce chemicals called lipases, which eat the fat. This chemical reaction creates strong-smelling acids with names like isovaleric acid and cadaverine.

To make this chemical reaction go faster, you can add more bacteria by leaving your cheese on the counter for a few days. Scientists call this “ripening” or “aging“.

The more oxygen and moisture, the faster the ripening process. The smell is strongest at the moment when it’s most ripe.

To know if your cheese is rotten, check the following.

1) Look at the sell-by date: If it’s past that date, there’s a good chance your cheese has gone bad.

2) Check the texture of the cheese: If a firm block of cheese becomes very soft and can’t hold its shape, it’s probably spoiled. It would help if you also were cautious of any cheese that looks melted and gooey.

3) Smell the cheese: If it smells sour or rancid, it’s a sure sign that it’s gone bad.

4) Avoid cheeses with exteriors that have turned brown. This often means they have gone bad.

5) Watch out for mold: Beware if you see green spots or white powder clumps on your cheese’s outer part. Mold and mildew generally mean your cheese has gone bad.

Avoid cheeses that have a “sweating” problem: If you’ve been storing your cheese in the refrigerator, it should be dry when you buy it.

Don’t buy it if you find it “sweating” or its moisture looks like condensation on the sides. Refrigeration causes this sweating, which is another sign of spoilage.

Why Does My Cheese Smell Like Alcohol?

Plate-ripened cheeses are made with bacteria in the rind, and when these bacteria convert tannins to acetaldehyde, a by-product is ethanol.

You can detect the odor of alcohol in the air after aging, which is strongest at room temperature. Unfortunately, there’s not yet a quick test for detecting alcohol levels in cheese.

However, there are several ways to tell if your cheese contains high acetaldehyde levels.

The Common Odors Associated with Alcohol in Cheese

Breath Alcohol: 0.02 – 0.10%

Alcohol odor evaporates when cheese is heated. Some people can detect the odor at a very low level, i.e., 0.02% (20 ppm).

Others will not notice it until the concentrations are much higher–0.10% (100 ppm) or higher.

There’s a common belief that cheese must contain alcohol to age properly, but this isn’t true!

High levels of alcohol in cheese are considered a defect, and you should contact the manufacturer if you believe your cheese doesn’t meet quality standards.

The USDA requires alcohol levels in aged cheeses to be less than 0.1%.

Rotten Cheese Syndrome (American Cheese Society)

The final “Good” mold stage is called “Blue Mold. This is when the cheese is ripe to its fullest potential.

Its taste is creamy, tangy, and almost fruity. Cottage Cheese will have a dark grayish-blue mold with a velvety texture throughout and rind. Limburger will have a blue-green mold, with specks of white mold on the rind.

Does Bagged Cheese Go Bad?

No, Bagged Cheese Doesn’t Go Bad. Don’t worry about it being rancid or rotten when you buy bagged cheese and its expiration date has passed.

Bagged cheese does not go bad because the wax or plastic surrounds the cheese block, preventing moisture from getting to it from the outside.

However, the lipase enzyme in cheese breaks down the wax into smaller molecules. But since it’s not vacuum sealed, the moisture won’t affect it.

It will only affect you if you store it in a warm place like your kitchen or garage.

It’s essential to keep your bagged cheese away from other foods that expose it to humidity, such as fruits or vegetables, which would cause mold. It’ll lead to mildew if exposed to humidity in those conditions.

So remember this: If you buy refrigerated bagged cheese and certain dates have passed, place the cheese back into the freezer or refrigerator for future consumption.

It would help if you didn’t eat it because the lipase enzyme will activate and start breaking down the wax around the cheese.

The packaging won’t affect it, so keep enjoying your bagged cheese rather than dealing with moldy food.

Why Does Cheese Taste Bad to Me All of a Sudden?

Mostly, dysgeusia is a side effect of certain treatments or medications, or it could be due to vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Other times, your sense of taste is simply changing as you age.

Even though this may be painful for some, scientists do not know what causes the change.

Taste receptors are sensory cells in the mouth that detect chemicals in food and beverages. These cells are part of the taste bud located on each side of the tongue.

The cells contain evergreen taste buds that can regenerate after different stimuli have damaged them. This means your sense of taste will change over time.

Dysgeusia can also be caused by problems unrelated to the body or injuries. These most commonly include infections, dental issues such as tooth damage, cavities or an abscessed tooth, and improper fit of dentures.

If you have lost taste perception for less than two weeks, nutritional deficiencies or something caught in your mouth can cause a loss of smell.

Some other possible causes could result in a decrease in taste or smell.

These may include sinus congestion, wearing dentures for too long, using head and neck positioning posts such as traction adhesives placed by a dentist to fix a broken tooth, or narrowing the nasal passage from nosebleeds.

Some medications that could also cause dysgeusia include antidepressants and anti-epileptic drugs.

How Long Can You Store Grated Cheese in The Fridge?

It can last up to 4 weeks in the fridge. Some say that cheese can last for months, while others claim it lasts no more than a week.

It’s easy to understand why there are varying opinions on this topic. Cheese contains lactose, milk solids, and water, all of which have shelf lives.

In addition, cheese varieties require different storage methods due to the types of milk used in production (e.g., aged versus fresh).

You can store Aged cheese at room temperature, allowing it to dry. This process enhances the flavor and texture of the cheese.

You can store Fresh cheese in the refrigerator, but it will eventually become dry or moldy if not consumed within a week. Furthermore, you can store cheese for long periods at room temperature.

Under these conditions, the flavor and texture of cheese will change over time.

Aged cheeses are very different from fresh cheeses in n terms of their microbiological makeup.

Once a milk solids content has reached 4% or above, it’s classified as “hard” milk, and cheese production is much simpler.

You can remove the remaining milk solids by a process called “rind separation,” which allows the food to retain some beneficial properties.

How Do You Know If Packaged Cheese Is Bad?

Stale Cheese Indicators-The Smell- Cheese should have a sweet, slightly pungent smell.
– The Color- Cheese is white and does not change colors when cut or exposed to air.

– The Texture – Creamy cheeses, like brie or Camembert, are smooth and uniform with a soft bloomy rind; hard cheeses, such as Cheddar, are brittle with a dry crust.
Pungent Cheese Indicators-The Smell- Pungent cheeses should have a sharp, creamy smell.

– The Color- Hard cheeses are dull, yellow, and crumbly; moldy soft cheeses are gray and have fuzzy surfaces.
Rancid Cheese IndicatorsThe Smell- Rancid cheese has a sour or bitter smell. You also discolored rancid cheese with white, yellow, or green patches or streaks in the paste.
Shiny Cheese IndicatorsThe Smell- Shiny cheeses have a greasy feel and are difficult to cut or grate.
Foul Odor Cheese IndicatorsThe Smell- Foul odors are usually associated with the texture of the cheese; Spoilage bacteria that have invaded the paste and altered the natural bacteria in play that normally keep it at bay may cause them.

Does Packaged Cheese Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?

Yes, it would be best if you refrigerated cheese that has come in a wrapper. This is because cheese absorbs odors and flavors from other foods.

The temperature from the refrigerator will keep your cheese fresher for longer than if you store it in your pantry at room temperature.

Cheese stored in a tightly sealed wrapper will keep in good condition for only a few weeks. Cheese that remains unwrapped will soften and change color quickly.

To properly store cheese, wrap it in paper or plastic (not waxed paper) to prevent oxidation from the air and protect it from scratching by sharp utensils.

Leave about a 1-inch thickness at the top of each piece of cheese so you can tell if any is missing when you unwrap the cheese. A tight seal will help keep the cheese fresh.

It would help if you stored cheese in the refrigerator or, even better, the freezer. If you have a properly sealed package of cheese, it can last for several months in the freezer before going bad.

Storage temperatures should range from 34 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 3 degrees Celsius). Cheeses are not the only food that should be kept refrigerated.

Cold temperatures slow bacterial growth and prevent spoilage in many types of food.


Cheese is an essential part of a nutritious diet. However, cheese can go bad. Proper storage methods will help ensure stored cheese remains fresh and at its best quality for as long as possible.


Hi! I' am Tom. I was a manager in one of the biggest stores for over 10 Years, am also an SEO by night. I don't like to call myself a blogger; they are very analytical, do email marketing, and know all SEO stuff. I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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