If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, chances are you have a block of Parmesan cheese sitting in your fridge. Whether it’s grated over pasta or shaved on top of a salad, Parmesan adds a deliciously nutty and salty flavor to any dish.
But what happens when that block of cheese has been sitting in your fridge for a while? Does Parmesan cheese go bad?
What is Parmesan Cheese?
Before we dive into the question at hand, let’s first discuss what Parmesan cheese is. Also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, this hard cheese hails from Italy and is made from cow’s milk.
It’s aged for at least 12 months (and can be aged up to 36 months) to give it its signature sharp flavor and crumbly texture. Because of its long aging process, Parmesan cheese is considered a type of “shelf-stable” food that can last for months without refrigeration.
Does Parmesan Cheese Go Bad?
Technically speaking, Parmesan cheese can go bad if not stored properly or left out for too long. However, it’s important to note that “going bad” doesn’t necessarily mean the cheese will make you sick. Instead, the quality and flavor of the cheese will deteriorate over time.
One thing to keep in mind is that Parmesan cheese is typically sold in vacuum-sealed packaging or in blocks that have been waxed or coated with plastic. These types of packaging help to preserve the freshness and quality of the cheese for longer periods of time.
Once you open your package of Parmesan cheese, it’s best to store it in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag in the fridge. This will help prevent moisture from getting into the cheese and causing mold growth or spoilage.
- Store Parmesan Cheese in an Airtight Container
- Keep it in the Fridge
- Use it within Six Months of Opening
If you’re unsure whether your Parmesan cheese has gone bad, there are a few things to look out for. First, check for any signs of mold growth.
If you see any green or blue spots on the cheese, it’s best to toss it out. Second, give the cheese a sniff test. If it smells sour or off, it may have gone bad.
How to Use Up Old Parmesan Cheese:
If you have a block of Parmesan cheese that’s been sitting in your fridge for a while and you’re not sure if it’s still good, there are still ways to use it up before tossing it out. Here are a few ideas:
- Grate the cheese and add it to soups or stews for extra flavor.
- Melt the cheese over roasted vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower.
- Make homemade croutons by tossing stale bread cubes with olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese.
In conclusion, Parmesan cheese can go bad if not stored properly or left out for too long. To ensure your cheese stays fresh and flavorful, store it in an airtight container in the fridge and use it within six months of opening. And if you’re ever unsure whether your Parmesan is still good, remember to give it a sniff test and check for any signs of mold growth before using.