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Thread: How long does sour cream last?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    San Diego

    Question How long does sour cream last?

    Everytime I bake using sour cream, I always end up with half of tub that I eventually throw away. How long does a tub of opened sour cream last in the fridge? Can I really go by the expiration date once it has been opened? I can't tell by smell because it's sour anyway...How do you tell if yours has gone bad?

  2. #2


    It grows green or black fur.

    Honestly, even though my reputation as She-Who-Breeds-Things-In-The-Fridge precedes me, I still don't keep it more than 7 days beyond the date on the carton.

    ...or anyway, not on purpose...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Heading WEST!!
    I would say if it smells fine and doesn't have anything fuzzy on it, it should be fine, especially if it's full-fat, normal sour cream. After all, it's mostly butter-fat, which has a good shelf-life.

    If it's a low-fat product, I'd probably not go much past the date because things will start separating...even if the stuff is ok to eat, it probably will start breaking down in consistency.
    Just my opinion....
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Bowie, MD, USA
    Oh, man, Gail stole my line!

    Like Wallycat said, I usually check to see if it looks and smells fine. If so, I taste a small dab, just to make sure, and go ahead.
    Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

    --Helen Keller

  5. #5
    You'll KNOW if your sour cream has gone bad. Just take a dab and taste it... nothing bad will happen to you, but you'll have a reliable answer in seconds.
    It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it. --Julia Child
    BURP! Where Food Happens

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Metrowest MA
    One way to keep sour cream (and cottage cheese) a little longer is to store it upside down. Really does work!
    ~ ~ Leslie ~ ~

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    or make the Barefoot Contessa's Banana Sour Cream Pancakes! That's what I did with leftover sour cream.

    One batch gives me breakfast for 3-4 days!

    yum yum!

    or onion dip. oooo, do I love onion dip with Ruffles Reduced Fat Organic potato chips (of course)
    Take time to explore the untraveled paths and secret gardens of this sweet life. ~unknown

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Blue Ridge Mts of VA!
    I laughed when I read the title of this thread. It reminds me of an old George Carlin special where he asked that very question- how do you know if it's bad? It's already sour! And him trying to identify something in the fridge "could be meat. Could be cake. Could be meat cake". Sorry, I'm a bit giddy today.

    In reality, I use sour cream a lot and I find it keeps much longer than seems possible, probably a couple of weeks after it's been opened. If it looks good, I use it. If it's furry, I throw it out.
    Wouldn't you like to be a Susan, too?

  9. #9


    Gee, Ana,

    I didn't know I should worry about my low-fat sour cream separating. Seems to me it does that pretty soon after opening. I just stir it up again and I'm happy as a clam. Tastes fine. Smells... well, it smells like sour cream.

    I'm reminded of a story my mom told me. Many years ago, as a newlywed (this would be the 1940's) my mother invited her mother over for dinner in her new home. She served something which had sour cream on it. After dinner, my grandmother pulled my mother aside and whispered, "I think your cream has spoiled."

    Guess they don't use sour cream in Cuba...

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