Pesto is a popular staple in many kitchens around the world. It’s a perfect accompaniment to pasta, a delicious spread on sandwiches or as a topping on pizza. However, one question that often comes up is how long does pesto last? In this blog post, we’ll take an in-depth look at the shelf life of pesto, different storage methods, and how to tell if it’s gone bad.
Shelf Life of Pesto
The answer to how long pesto lasts depends on several factors, including the type of ingredients used, the storage method, and the production process. Generally, homemade pesto will last for about a week or two in the fridge, while store-bought pesto can last up to a month in the fridge.
Homemade Pesto Shelf Life
If you’ve made your pesto at home using fresh ingredients, it has a shorter lifespan than processed pesto. Typically, homemade pesto made with fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese can last between three to five days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To extend the shelf life of homemade pesto, try blending in some extra virgin olive oil or lemon juice, which acts as a natural preservative.
Store-bought Pesto Shelf Life
Store-bought pesto, on the other hand, has a longer shelf life than homemade pesto. This is because commercial pesto undergoes pasteurization, a heat treatment process that kills bacteria and extends its shelf life. As a result, unopened store-bought pesto stored in the pantry or cupboard can last up to a year. Once opened, the pesto should be transferred to a glass jar and stored in the fridge, where it will last up to four weeks past the expiration date on the package.
To extend the shelf life of pesto, proper storage is essential. When storing pesto, it’s crucial to keep it airtight to avoid oxidation, which causes the oil in the pesto to go rancid. The best way to store pesto is by using an airtight container such as a glass jar or plastic container. Ensure that the container’s lid fits snugly, and there is no air inside. If using a glass jar, press a piece of plastic wrap over the pesto before adding the lid to keep out air.
Another way to store pesto is to freeze it. Pesto freezes well, and you can make large batches and store in smaller containers or ziplock bags. Freezing pesto can extend its shelf life for up to six months. To freeze pesto, spoon it into an ice cube tray, cover lightly with plastic wrap, and freeze until solid. Afterward, transfer the frozen cubes of pesto into a ziplock bag, squeeze out any excess air and return to the freezer. To use, simply take out the number of cubes you need and thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
Signs of Spoiled Pesto
It’s essential to know how pesto spoils so that you can tell when it has gone bad. Some obvious telltale signs include mold growth on the surface, a foul odor, or a slimy texture. When pesto goes bad, it loses its bright green color, turns darker, and starts to develop spots. These are all indications that it’s time to throw away the pesto to avoid food poisoning.
In conclusion, pesto is a versatile condiment that adds flavor to almost any dish. Its shelf life depends on several factors such as storage method and production process. Homemade pesto can last up to five days in the fridge, while store-bought pesto can last up to four weeks. Proper storage in an airtight container and freezing extends the shelf life of pesto. Always check for signs of spoilage, such as mold growth, discoloration, or bad odor, before consuming pesto. Knowing how to handle and store pesto will ensure that it remains fresh and delicious for longer.