Do You Need to Refrigerate Grated Parmesan Cheese?
Grated Parmesan cheese is a staple ingredient in many kitchens. Whether you’re using it to top off your favorite pasta dish or sprinkle it on a salad, its nutty and savory flavor can elevate any recipe.
But when it comes to storing grated Parmesan cheese, there seems to be some confusion. Do you need to refrigerate it? Let’s find out!
The Shelf Life of Grated Parmesan Cheese:
Grated Parmesan cheese is made from aged and dried Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which means it has a low moisture content. This low moisture content helps prevent the growth of bacteria and molds, allowing the cheese to have a longer shelf life compared to other types of cheeses.
Unopened packages of grated Parmesan cheese can generally last up to 9 months at room temperature. However, once you open the package, its shelf life decreases significantly.
Refrigeration for Longevity:
If you want your grated Parmesan cheese to last as long as possible after opening, refrigeration is key. Storing it properly in the refrigerator will help slow down the oxidation process and keep the cheese fresh for an extended period.
The Steps for Refrigerating Grated Parmesan Cheese:
- Transfer: Transfer the remaining grated Parmesan cheese into an airtight container or resealable bag.
- Air Removal: Squeeze out any excess air before sealing the container or bag.
- Date Labeling: Write the date on the container or bag so that you can track its freshness.
- Refrigeration: Place the container or bag in the refrigerator, preferably in the cheese drawer or a separate compartment with a temperature between 34°F and 38°F (1°C and 3°C).
When Refrigeration Is Not Necessary:
If you plan to use up your grated Parmesan cheese within a week or two after opening, refrigeration may not be necessary. However, make sure to store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and other strong odors.
The Importance of Proper Storage:
Proper storage is essential for maintaining the quality and flavor of grated Parmesan cheese. When exposed to moisture, heat, and air, the cheese can become clumpy, lose its aroma, and even develop an off taste. Refrigerating it helps preserve its texture and flavor for a longer period.
In conclusion, while unopened packages of grated Parmesan cheese can be stored at room temperature for several months, refrigeration is recommended after opening to maintain its freshness. By following proper storage techniques like transferring it into an airtight container or resealable bag and refrigerating it at the correct temperature range, you can enjoy your grated Parmesan cheese for an extended period.
Remember that when it comes to food safety, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. So why take any chances? Keep your grated Parmesan cheese refrigerated!