I have a sandwich that says "sell by 11/4". The sandwich is white bread, provolone cheese, turkey breast, and some lettuce wrapped in a plastic bag.

I went to go eat the sandwich today and found that what appears to be the cheese has melted into a liquid goop. Within the sandwich the cheese was sitting on top of the turkey.

The provolone cheese says: pasteurized milk cheese culture, salt, enzymes.

I didn't know cheese could melt in the fridge?

No power was lost to the chilly bin since the turkey butty was put it in there.


So I pulled out my backup sandwich which is a little more recent in the aging period and it looks like the cheddar cheese is melting in this one too but not yet like the previous one's attempt to become school's next favorite Elmer's glue, although a little sour.

This ham butty has been in a different chilly bin so no connection to a power outage.

Is it the meat that's melting it, such as the salt in the meat, or something else?

  • Why is this tagged [sour-cream]? I don't see any reference to that in the question?
    – Aaronut
    Commented Nov 8, 2010 at 20:33
  • Sorry, I tried to put "sour". I removed it.
    – Rob Olmos
    Commented Nov 8, 2010 at 20:38
  • 4
    I'm not going to post this as an answer since I have no way to verify it, but it sounds as though it may never have been real cheese to begin with. Perhaps it's just some processed Cheese-Whiz-like product that's been hardened somehow, and what you're witnessing is not melting but breaking down.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Nov 8, 2010 at 20:54
  • @Aaronut: That was my suspicion, but I didn't think you could sell processed cheese product with an ingredient list like that...
    – Cascabel
    Commented Nov 8, 2010 at 22:12
  • @Jefromi: What else would you expect to see in the ingredients?
    – Aaronut
    Commented Nov 8, 2010 at 22:27

1 Answer 1


My guess is that you don't have real cheese in your sandwich.

I've seen this before with things called cheese that were really types of American cheese. It happened when then product was exposed to moisture that it seemed to absorb, which then caused it to turn soggy and glue-like. If you'd have said that you had tomato in your sandwich, I'd have been sure this was what was going on.

  • 4
    We buy pre-shredded Kraft cheese for salads. If I make one (just baby spinach and cheese) and leave it in a tupperware and forget to eat it for two days, the cheese turns into a goopy mess, sticking to the sides of the container and the lettuce as if it was melted in there. With so few variables in that situation I can only assume the cheese is absorbing moisture as David describes. I do not necessarily understand why, but there's some extra info to potentially help you sleuth! Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 3:13
  • 1
    After almost 5 years and 2500+ views, I choose you Pikachu.
    – Rob Olmos
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 6:03
  • 1
    Moisture is likely the problem, but I've seen it happen with some pretty good cheeses, not just "not-real" stuff. If cheese is let sit exposed to moisture for a long time, most of them can soften and turn runny even if it was a good cheese to start with - though I will admit that drier and more aged cheeses take longer to soften up.
    – Megha
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 12:21

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