My Refrigerator Made Fresh Cheese!


Fresh Cheese Made "Accidentally" in my Fridge

Delicacy or Danger?

Today, I went digging in my very full refrigerator for any soured milk to use to soak my organic wheat flour. I need to make lots of crispy pancakes for our family’s houseboat trip. We have plenty of raw milk, and I just needed to culture some of it to make ample sour milk for the recipe. I found about 1/4 cup of kefir and a jar that looked like it was full of whey, so I knew it was milk that had soured or clabbered over time (and neglect) in the fridge.

By adding these as cultures to some fresh raw milk, and putting it in my cupboard for 24 hours, it will turn the milk into kefir and clabber.

So, I added the kefir to one liter of raw milk and then poured the other whey and curds into the other liter of raw milk. Much to my surprise, a big glob remained in the jar, and it looked like a perfectly formed round of cheese!

So, I am reaching out to you, dear readers. Do you think my fridge made edible cheese?

Raw milk, being a living food, is endlessly fascinating. My new favorite food is clabbered milk because of its many culinary uses, such as, sourdough waffles. Could this clabbered milk cheese be a nice addition to my cheese board tonight?

If you have any experience with magically appearing refrigerator cheese, do tell us in the comments below!


What would you do? Eat it or Not?

Kimberly Hartke is the Publicist for and the Weston A. Price Foundation.

This post is part of the Fight Back Fridays blog carnival. See more tasty morsels on Food Renegade blog!


  1. Joyce M. Simmerman says:

    Certainly this should be safe, in my opinion. As to how delectable, that depends on your taste palate. Presumably, if you enjoy kefir and/or whey, this should be able to be enjoyed, say, for instance, sliced thin on crackers, grated with herbs for a dip, etc. If you want to be assured that it is probably ok since it has been in acidic environment, read Sandor Katz’ “Wild Fermentations” where one can enjoy peace of mind whilst innovately and creatively producting food… real living food.

  2. One time, when I was making kefir, I left it out too long. It was very thick, so I refrigerated it. Like other things, it got “lost” in my refrigerator. When I found it a couple weeks later, the jar contained a lot of whey and a big chunk of a cheese like substance. I used the whey for soaking grains and making beet kvass. It was the best whey I ever used. I did not taste the cheese like substance (which was probably cheese), but the whey was completely safe.

    I personally would taste a little bit, and see how it tasted and felt. I think it would be okay, though I do not know for sure.

  3. Sylvia Onusic says:

    something like this happened to me when I was making yogurt, I got a lot of whey, and some cheese curds. But no yogurt!

    Also, I had some kefir in the frig for a couple weeks when I was in Slovenia. Today I drank it and it was fine. I also had some yogurt from whole milk which I purchased a couple weeks ago, and I have been eating it for a couple days. The staying power of fermented milk is amazing.

    I also successfully made clabbered milk from raw milk- just put it in the cupboard, covered of course, and the product was tart and refreshing in two days. Nice on cucumber salad.

    Enjoy. Sylvia

  4. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Great, thanks, ya’ll. Now I have made the mistake of thinking another bottle of milk was cultured when it wasn’t. I think it is just plain raw milk, and I now have my wheat soaking in it. Do you think if I wait a couple of days it will be clabbered?

    Has anyone ever soaked grains in raw milk with success??

  5. Personally, I’ve never used either of these before, so I’m missing out. I don’t currently have access to raw milk (yet). Growing up, however, I had ready and easy access (we had two milk cows).

    Here were our thoughts on milk: my mother labeled milk put into the fridge. Because of the production vs. use at our house, there were always leftovers and the milk would pile up if nothing was done. We would give a gallon a day (five days a week, on my way to school) to a neighbor in trade for eggs (he had better layers than we did).

    Anything labeled that became more than three days old (which was the extent of our milk containers, not for any scientific “goes bad” reason) became pig food. Pigs love milk.

  6. I have soaked spelt with raw milk and a little whey (couple of Tbs) and it was fine.

  7. Bill Anderson says:

    I’m confident that its safe, Kim. If the fresh milk was safe to drink, then anything that happens in that jar will be safe.

    The question is whether it is palatable, and that’s only a question you can answer for yourself!

    I will say, however, that the organisms that grow best at cold refrigerator temperature (also known as pyscrotrophic organisms) tend to produce more rancid flavors (bitter peptides and free-fatty-acids), while the organisms that grow best at warmer temperatures tend to be the type that ferment lactose into lactic acid.

    As I said, though ultimately it is up to you if you like it! Everyone’s palate is unique.

  8. Does it smell good?

  9. I saw a recipe for a sour (raw) milk drink from an old eatern Europen country and they left the milk out of the refig to produce the drink. They said one warm night will do it. It seems raw milk does not spoil like our ‘safe’ pastuerized product does so quickly.

  10. here is one but not the one I read:

    seems to be many google search results but not the one I read, sorry. I tried.

  11. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Phil–at your suggestion I smelled the mysterious cheese. It smelled slightly of cheese, much like cream cheese.

    I poured cracked peppercorns on top and smeared the peppered cheese on a cracker. The taste of the cheese was more like mozarrella than boursin (bland not tangy). So tonight, I am going to mix cubes of the cheese and pepper in with onion and chopped cherry tomatoes and serve it to my husband.

    It is his turn to try!

  12. It can be a bit of an acquired taste, in my opinion. I, too, have come upon this cheese in my fridge, and I’ve used the whey; the cream cheese I use on toast with some raw honey–not bad, but the kids won’t have it. I’m guessing that good raw milk is constantly in flux to some new interesting state of being: All edible, and all extremely healthful. Something’s are tough on a modern western taste bud, though. Enjoy the summer!

  13. I’ve had all kinds of experiments with raw milk cheese products: mozzarella that flopped, cottage cheese that wasn’t quite, cheese that didn’t form curd, or cheese that formed too small of curd. It all depends on the acidity and like many have said, your taste buds. I’ve had some experiments that were inedible and some that I was able to make into a reasonable imitation of lemon cheesecake by blending it with honey and lemon juice. The great thing about making cheese from raw milk is even if it isn’t the cheese you intended to make, it’s usually still edible.
    I’ve also soaked flour in fresh raw milk before. I leave it out overnight in a warm place and the milk sours enough to lend an almost cheesy flavor to my crackers so you should be okay. Soaking for at least 12 hours or more would ensure it does the job.

  14. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Kathryn, you are right, my soaked flour crackers taste a little cheesy! Made a batch this morning and they are great topped with raw milk cheese.

  15. Another blast from the past. Our grandmothers made use of every bit of milk, sweet or sour. My grandmother made what she called “clabber biscuits” using cheese such as you found lingering in the fridge. better than anything. and don’t forget to pour the whey in too.

  16. I was thinking that it looked like mozz. But you say it was smearable? Interesting accidental experimental concoction!

  17. Dont worry dear. That will be safe for sure. Anything prepared at home is 99.9% safe.

  18. I just came across this post because I had the same thing happen, only my cheese formed in a bottle of grassfed, low-heat pasteurized whole milk. I poured out the whey (now wishing I hadn’t) and tasted the cheese. Sour like sour milk! But maybe I can make it palatable and use in blintzes like farmer’s cheese. Seems a shame to toss. Thanks for your post.

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