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Old 01-31-2008, 07:01 PM   #1
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ISO advice on mayo or butter, mixed with other things

If I've mixed mayo with another condiment (e.g. wasabi powder, lime pickle, chile paste), does that change the expiration date? And what about flavored butters, e.g. tarragon-flavored -- would it last as long as the butter does?

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Old 01-31-2008, 09:27 PM   #2
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When you introduce other ingredients the expiration dates go out the window for both cases. Fresh tarragon brings potential bacteria to the butter. All bets are off. Same for the additions to the mayo.

These items should be made to order.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kohnuma View Post
If I've mixed mayo with another condiment (e.g. wasabi powder, lime pickle, chile paste), does that change the expiration date? And what about flavored butters, e.g. tarragon-flavored -- would it last as long as the butter does?
Not sure what you mean by expiration date. If store bought mayo, the date on it is the date an unopened container will begin to lose quality, a "best by" date.

Opened store bought mayo should be used within 2 months of opening, or discarded.

Adding anything to home made potentially introduces bacteria, which is potentially more serious in mayo because it is an egg based product. This means that it is both moist and high in protein, which it the perfect media for bacterial growth.

So once you add anything to it, you should eat it within a few days.

Flavored butters I would be less concerned with from a safety standpoint. It certainly won't last any longer than whatever you are adding would on its own. I would probably opt to freeze any extra in whatever size portions you will likely be using and eliminate the possibility of ruining a great steak or something. Even in the freezer, I wouldn't leave in more than a month or two.
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:01 AM   #4
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Comedians should be funny, not food...

I have learned the hard way to 'make them to order' as Andy said. Ruined several dishes that way, but more importantly wasted a lot since they never seem to keep more than a day or so in my fridge. Then they start to do funny things...
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:35 PM   #5
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I use flavored mayos all the time. I only make enough for what I need that day or the next. Some are better after sitting a day in the fridge (curry, basil, tarragon, oregano, wasabi, chili paste, etc) but if I add chili sauce or italian dressing (anything with liquid) I use it immediately because it does get runny.

Flavored (cilantro, parsley, basil, thyme, curry, etc.) butters keep well in the freezer & are great for me because often times it is hard to buy fresh herbs.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:21 PM   #6
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I've never heard 2 months for mayo. As a matter of fact the "Best by" date on the mayo I bought 2 months ago is June 8, 2008. That's definitely more than 2 months, more like 10. I would be throwing so much out if I only kept things 2 months.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:35 PM   #7
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We just keep butter and mayo in the fridge until it is used up. But adding a fresh herb to it, well, as Andy says, changes everything.

Mayo and butter provide not the most ideal foods for bacteria, but they are close. I would use the mixture within a few days, no more.

If the herbs were blanched the mixture probably would last longer. But that is no guarantee.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:50 PM   #8
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As I understand it, the Best Buy date on foods refers to the last date that the product can be sold. It refers to the food in an un-opened condition. Once open, I agree that I would not keep mayo longer than 60 days. Of course, in my house there is nothing to worry about. We go through the stuff at what I think is an amazing pace!
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
When you introduce other ingredients the expiration dates go out the window for both cases. Fresh tarragon brings potential bacteria to the butter. All bets are off. Same for the additions to the mayo.

These items should be made to order.

This sums it up, especially for the mayo side of things.

For the butters, the freezer is your best friend and can buy some extra time. Just make, portion, and freeze asap.
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Old 02-02-2008, 03:02 PM   #10
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All plants have natural enzymes in them that cause them to break down after some specific time after harvesting. Dried herbs abviously last longer than do fresh herbs as moisture is required for the break-down process. When you add fresh plant material, be it herbs, spices, or such veggies as chopped onion or even horseradish, you are adding them to a moisture rich environment that will allow them to start the breakdown process. The enzymes that break down the lant also break down the food elements in your mayo.

Butter is a different animal. It doesn't so much break down as it accepts and absorbs foul tasting molecules in its molecular change. This is described as rancitdity and is common to all fats (oils included). The addition of salt to the butter retards this action, but doesn't stop it. Additional componants added to the butter will go bad at their normal rate. Some compund butters, if refrigerated properly, will last many days. Others, will go bad very quickly. If frozen, compound, or flavored butters last a good while. But they must be kept in an air-tight container to prevent other flavors from contaminating them through absorption. And contrary to popular belief, plastic freezer bags don't keep other flavors from being absorbed. Think of how a balloon deflates over time. It isn't that the knot is loose, and allowing leakage, but rather that the molecular structure of the rubber is loose enough to allow air molecules to slowly escape. The same is true of plastic bags and wraps. But the pressure is from the outside-in. Other flavors will invade the bag and enter the food contents. NOw glass, on the other hand, and sealed metal containers, these are truly air-tight. This is why they are preffered for long-term storage.

IF you are going to make flavored mayo or butters, make enough for the meal. That way you just don't have to worry about it. And as was stated previously, give the flavorings time to disperse into the mayo or butter. A few hours in the fridge should be enough.

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