My kimchee's button is up! >.<

another_amanda
Bento-ing from: › USA
Joined: 12 Aug 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 8 weeks ago.

On Monday, I bought a jar of kimchee. Today, I went to eat it and discovered that the "button" is up on top of the jar, even though it has that "sealed for your protection" plastic that has to be taken off before the lid is unscrewed (glass jar, metal lid). I went to the store to exchange it, but stopped by to look at the other jars and discovered that all of the jars had their "buttons" up except for one. Normally a "button" that is up is really bad news for the food inside, but I don't know much about making kimchee, so I don't know if it has to be sealed/sterilized in the same way as other canned foods. I know that properly fermented kimchee can keep for more than a month. Maybe Banyan Foods just uses the "button" lids anyway? The kimchee in the jar looks exactly as kimchee should (nothing spawning new life forms in there).

Anyway, I'll probably end up tossing the kimchee and storing something in the jar, but in case we have any kimchee experts here, I want to pose the question: can I eat it?*
I'm ever so slightly paranoid about botulism and other bacteria, but I'd also like to avoid tossing a good jar of kimchee if there's nothing wrong with it. I also don't trust the people at my grocery store to have any idea.

Here's the information on the jar:
"unpasteurized and live"
"no msg or preservatives
"best by apr/24/2010"
"keep refrigerated"
"ingredients: Chinese cabbage, water, salt, ginger, green onion, garlic, chili pepper"

There is NOT a note saying "do not eat if button is up."

*I recognize that nobody here has a degree in food sanitation or the authority to answer this question in any manner apart from personal opinion, which may or may not apply to my situation

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Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 16 weeks ago.
Re: My kimchee's button is up! >.<

The kimchi I buy comes in a sealed packet. The package says that as it is a naturally and continuously fermenting food the package may swell. There's also a sachet inside to absorb this fermentation gas.

I've noticed that the packages do vary in their 'firmness' - i.e. how much gas accumulates inside. Personally, I would think it natural for the button on the top of an unopened kimchi jar to pop up (but not for a non-live sterile food like baby puree), but as I said, I've never bought it in a jar before.

If the kimchi tastes 'fizzy'/overly sour or the texture is disagreeably soft then you might want to be cautious, but even if you have mild doubts you can still cook with it.

another_amanda
Bento-ing from: › USA
Joined: 12 Aug 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 8 weeks ago.
Re: My kimchee's button is up! >.<

It never even occurred to me to cook with it. I should open the jar and see if the cabbage is still a nice texture....

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 36 weeks ago.
Re: My kimchee's button is up! >.<

It is alive, it is fermenting, it will be producing gas. That should be pretty normal for kimchi. A pop-up topped jar seems an odd way to keep the stuff though.

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Bronwyn

My blog is Food and Shoes

another_amanda
Bento-ing from: › USA
Joined: 12 Aug 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 8 weeks ago.
Re: My kimchee's button is up! >.<

Yeah; I'm guessing that that that type of jar was the most cost-effective method for packaging it..or something like that. I just poked around in the jar and the texture/smell seem about right.

maki
admin
Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 4 weeks 2 days ago.
Re: My kimchee's button is up! >.<

Kimchi is great as a sort of flavor base in stir fries and such! Kimchi fried rice is a favorite of mine!

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