Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just finished eating a lasagne that I cooked for my family with a glass jar of tomato with ricotta, I have to say my family was not impressed. I went back to check the jar and it did not smell good, at first I thought this was just a natural ricotta smell but now I think it was off!

The jar was sealed and with another year to go before expiry so I am wondering if I have cooked with off ricotta or not?

share|improve this question
If it smelled bad, it likely was bad. Nothing you can do about it now except hope no one comes down with food poisoning. – ElendilTheTall Jul 1 '13 at 9:22
Apart from some indigestion I think we are okay. Next time I will trust my nose more. Can you make your comment an answer and I will accept it. – James Eldridge Jul 1 '13 at 23:47
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It is far more likely that the ricotta has gone bad. If your nose picks up off smells, you should generally trust it. The best time to take a sniff is right when you pop the jar open. We change ricotta's water everyday and try to finish it within a couple of days. I've also seen many freshly openned ricotta (well inside the expiry date) that had gone bad, and didn't look bad.

Another thing you can do when you cook for others is to taste your food in small samples along the way. That way you get feedback and don't surprise yourself (or others). Use two spoons (one to pull food sample and dollop on the second spoon that you taste). That way you don't contaminate the food.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.