When it comes to cooking, cheese is a staple ingredient that finds its way into various recipes. One of the most popular types of cheese used in cooking is Parmesan cheese.
But have you ever wondered if fresh Parmesan cheese melts? Let’s explore this topic in detail.
What is Fresh Parmesan Cheese?
Parmesan cheese, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, is a hard, granular cheese that originated in Italy. It is made from cow’s milk and has a distinct nutty and salty flavor. Parmesan cheese is aged for at least 12 months and can be aged up to 36 months, depending on the desired texture and flavor.
Fresh Parmesan cheese refers to the younger version of the cheese that has been aged for less than 12 months. It has a softer texture and milder flavor compared to aged Parmesan cheese.
Does Fresh Parmesan Cheese Melt?
The short answer is yes, fresh Parmesan cheese does melt. However, it doesn’t melt like other cheeses such as mozzarella or cheddar. Fresh Parmesan cheese has a low moisture content, which means it takes longer to melt and becomes gooey rather than completely melted.
When heated, fresh Parmesan cheese will soften and become more pliable but will retain its shape even when melted. This makes it perfect for grating over dishes such as pasta or salads or using as a garnish on soups.
How to Melt Fresh Parmesan Cheese
If you want to melt fresh Parmesan cheese, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Grate the cheese finely before melting.
- Melt the cheese over low heat to prevent burning.
- Add some liquid such as milk or cream to help the melting process.
You can melt fresh Parmesan cheese in a variety of ways, such as:
Sprinkling over dishes
One of the easiest ways to melt fresh Parmesan cheese is to sprinkle it over hot dishes such as pasta or pizza. The residual heat from the dish will help soften and melt the cheese.
Making a sauce
Fresh Parmesan cheese can be used to make a delicious sauce for pasta or vegetables. Start by melting butter over low heat and adding finely grated Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly until melted. Add some milk or cream to thin out the sauce if needed.
Fresh Parmesan cheese can also be melted in the oven by baking it on top of dishes such as casseroles or roasted vegetables. Grate the cheese finely and sprinkle it over the dish before baking until melted and golden brown.
In conclusion, fresh Parmesan cheese does melt, but not in the same way as other cheeses. Its low moisture content means that it takes longer to melt and becomes gooey rather than completely melted.
However, this makes it perfect for grating over dishes or using as a garnish on soups. When melting fresh Parmesan cheese, remember to grate it finely, use low heat, and add some liquid if needed.