Parmesan cheese is an extremely popular topping and addition to a variety of dishes, especially for Italian cuisine. It can be added to pasta, chicken, sandwiches, and even hamburgers if that’s your preference. Due to its’ variety of uses, Parmesan cheese is a highly sought after product and is found in almost every supermarket or local outdoor market. The word ‘Parmesan’ originally comes from the Italian words of ‘Parmigiano-Reggiano.’ Parmesan cheese has its’ origins in Italy and specifically in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, and Bologna. The product is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and it has spread throughout the world and is often referred to as the ‘King of Cheeses.’ If you’re at the local supermarket and you see a big sale on blocks of Parmesan cheese, you would be wondering if it would be worth the savings in time and money. Parmesan cheese is usually more expensive than other cheese especially if it is of higher quality. Thus, it may be best to buy a few blocks of the product to save for the long-term. Because of this reasoning, would the Parmesan cheese last for a long time or would it be difficult to store? The ultimate question remains; does Parmesan cheese go bad?
Does Parmesan Cheese Go Bad?
Unfortunately, the answer to this important question is yes, Parmesan cheese can definitely go bad on you. However, the good news is that with proper storage and by following the necessary steps and procedures, the product can last for a very long time. If you think about it, many people have used Parmesan cheese for the past few centuries and have been able to use and store the product for a long time even if they did not have the most modern of technologies like a refrigerator. Continue to read on to discover how to extend its’ shelf life, store it properly, and find out the signs to see whether or not the Parmesan cheese has gone bad or not.
Storing The Parmesan Cheese
The most important thing to consider when it comes to Parmesan cheese is to keep the product in a cool, dark, and dry place. You want to make sure that it’s not being exposed to heat, sunlight, water, oxygen or other outside elements that could affect its’ texture and flavor while turning it moldy and unappetizing. It’s easiest to store Parmesan cheese in closed cans or packages which can then be put into the refrigerator where its’ cool and dark. The cans of Parmesan cheese are powdered and less likely to develop mold or lumpiness in its’ texture.
If you end up buying blocks of Parmesan cheese, it may be best to wrap the product in a layer of plastic wrapping and then to seal it in airtight, freezer-safe container or a Ziploc bag. Just remember that you can then place the blocks of cheese into the freezer or refrigerator as both will work for the long-term. It is also unlikely for the Parmesan cheese to be frozen like ice and it won’t be too difficult to de-frost or thaw it out later. If you decide to freeze your product, remember to label the bag or container with the date of first freezing so you can recall for how long its’ been stored for. Lastly, you can cut the blocks of Parmesan cheese up into smaller servings and store the product in more than one bag or container. This will help you a lot in being able to use some of the product will continuing to store the rest of it.
If you still would like another option for storage, you can grate your blocks of cheese up into much smaller, thinner pieces and then place them in a container or bag that’s destined for the refrigerator or freezer. By grating the cheese, there at a lower risk of developing mold and will be easier store in smaller servings and in different containers. Still though, even if your Parmesan cheese develops mold, you can cut out the pieces that have been affected and the rest of the cheese will still be good to use. It’s important to keep in mind that you should never leave the Parmesan cheese out on the kitchen cabinet or store at room temperature. It’s much better to freeze or refrigerate the product when it comes to long-term storage.
Shelf Life of Parmesan Cheese
In its’ block form, Parmesan cheese can last for a long time especially because of its’ hard texture and appearance. If you correctly wrap the cheese up and seal it in a container or Ziploc bag, it can last up to six months or more past the “best before” or “use by” dates which are more like guidelines than actual expiration dates. If you decide to instead grate the Parmesan cheese into much smaller pieces, you’ll be happy to know that the grated cheese can last for up to a year with proper storage. Once again, if any mold appears on the cheese, it’s important to cut out the bad part rather than throw the whole block of cheese away. Also, in order to extend its’ shelf life, you’re going to want to store the Parmesan cheese in the refrigerator or the freezer by using a sealable container or Ziploc bag.
Check out how Parmesan cheese is made:
Signs of Bad Parmesan Cheese
When it comes to bad Parmesan cheese, there are a couple of tell tale signs to look out for when it comes to this product. First, if there’s a severe amount of mold spread throughout the blocks of cheese, then it may be best to throw the entire product out. Also, you could check to see if there’s discoloration in the grated or blocks of cheese. If the product is giving off a different appearance with a yellowish or darker color than its’ usual white or beige exterior, this is a sign that the product is going bad on you.
Lastly, the more surefire ways of telling whether the Parmesan cheese is bad or not is to test the smell and the taste of the product. If it has an off or pungent odor that smells unappetizing, that’s an unfortunate sign. You can also do a taste test by taking a small spoonful of the Parmesan cheese and tasting it yourself. It won’t make you sick and you can definitely tell if its’ bad or not depending on if tastes delicious or sour instead. Good luck and use your best judgment!