Can You Eat the Hard Part of Parmesan Cheese?

When it comes to Parmesan cheese, we often find ourselves wondering whether we can eat the hard part. After all, it’s not uncommon to see people avoid it or remove it from their dishes. In this article, we will explore the truth behind whether or not you can eat the hard part of Parmesan cheese.

The Hard Part of Parmesan Cheese: Rind or Crust?

First things first, let’s clarify what we mean by the “hard part” of Parmesan cheese. There are two aspects to consider: the rind and the crust.


The rind of Parmesan cheese refers to the outer layer that develops during the aging process. It becomes hard and inedible due to its texture and flavor profile. However, some people argue that small amounts can be grated and added to dishes for an extra burst of flavor.


The crust, on the other hand, is formed when you cut into a wheel of Parmesan cheese. It’s the exposed part that becomes harder over time due to air exposure. This crust is completely safe to eat and contains all the delicious flavors that make Parmesan cheese so beloved.

How to Incorporate the Hard Part into Your Dishes

If you’re interested in using both the rind and crust in your cooking, here are a few ideas:

  • Grated Rind: Grate small amounts of the rind and sprinkle it over pasta dishes or soups for an added depth of flavor.
  • Cooking with Crust: When cooking with grated Parmesan cheese, include some of the crust to infuse your dish with its delicious taste.
  • Broth Booster: Add a Parmesan rind to your homemade broths and stocks for a rich and savory flavor.
  • Cheese Plate: Serve small pieces of the crust alongside other cheeses on a cheese plate for an interesting and tasty addition.

Storage and Preservation

To ensure the hard part of Parmesan cheese stays fresh, it’s important to store it correctly. Wrap the rind or crust tightly in wax paper or plastic wrap, then place it in an airtight container or resealable bag. Store it in the refrigerator, and it should last for several weeks.

In Conclusion

The hard part of Parmesan cheese can indeed be eaten, but there are some considerations to keep in mind. While the rind is typically not consumed due to its tough texture, small amounts can be grated for added flavor.

The crust, however, is perfectly safe to eat and can enhance your dishes with its unique taste. So why not experiment with incorporating both into your next culinary creation?

Remember, when cooking with Parmesan cheese, don’t let the hard part go to waste!