Posted on May 11, 2013 in Food & drink
What is the proper way to store Parmesan cheese? I have tried both glass and plastic containers, and it always ends up moldy.
Thanks to its reputation as the topping of choice for many pasta dishes, Parmesan cheese (also called Parmigiano Reggiano, named for the region of Italy from which it originated) is one of the world’s most popular cheeses. So how can you keep it fresh and flavorful? We found some tips.
Academia Barilla Italian food academy in Parma, Italy, says that vacuum-sealed Parmesan cheese can be stored for long periods of time in a refrigerator cooled to 32-40 degrees F. (Be sure that the humidity level of the fridge remains constant, so the cheese doesn’t dry out.)
Britain’s Ham & Cheese Company (formerly the Parmesan Cheese Company) says that your cheese should be tightly wrapped in waxed paper with a layer of either foil or plastic wrap on the outside of the paper, then put in the cheese or veggie drawer of your refrigerator. This way, the cheese can still breathe but is kept airtight, and should be good for eating for about two weeks, then usable for grating for another six weeks. Whole Foods adds that you should store pre-grated cheese in the refrigerator in a zippered plastic bag with all the air squeezed out.
The cheese is best consumed at room temperature, and the cheese experts at Whole Foods suggest buying smaller pieces that will only last you a week or two.
Finally, even if your Parmesan cheese does get some mold, all is not lost. In most cases, you can trim off the mold and another 1/2 inch below the moldy portion and use the remainder of the cheese.
Too many of us know Parmesan cheese as the stuff that comes in a plastic can with a shaker on top. While this sawdusty stuff is better than nothing, it doesn’t come close to tasting the real thing.
If you’ve never tried it before, shave off some thin slices or break off a few small chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano and savor its flavor, texture and mouth feel. For more great ways to enjoy this cheese, visit Italy’s Consortium of Parmigiano-Reggiano site.
Photo by paPisc
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