Parmesan cheese is a delicious and versatile ingredient that can elevate any dish. Whether it’s grated over pasta or shaved on top of a salad, Parmesan adds a unique flavor and texture to any recipe. However, if you buy a whole wheel of Parmesan cheese, you may be wondering how long it will last and how to store it properly.
How long does a Parmesan cheese wheel last?
Parmesan cheese is known for its long shelf life. A whole wheel of Parmesan can last for up to 2 years if stored properly. However, there are a few factors that can affect the shelf life of your Parmesan cheese:
Storage: The way you store your Parmesan cheese will have a big impact on how long it lasts. It’s important to keep the cheese in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. You should also wrap the cheese tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent air from getting in.
Cut vs. Uncut: If you buy an uncut wheel of Parmesan cheese, it will last longer than if you buy pre-cut pieces. This is because the cut edges of the cheese are exposed to air, which can cause them to dry out faster.
Aging: The longer your Parmesan cheese has aged, the longer it will last. Aged Parmesan (also known as “Stravecchio”) has been aged for at least 18 months and can last for up to 2 years if stored properly.
How to tell if your Parmesan cheese has gone bad
While Parmesan cheese has a long shelf life, it’s important to know how to tell if your cheese has gone bad so that you don’t accidentally eat spoiled food. Here are some signs that your Parmesan may have gone bad:
- Visible mold or discoloration
- An off smell or sour taste
- The cheese feels slimy or sticky to the touch
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw the cheese away.
How to store Parmesan cheese
To ensure that your Parmesan cheese lasts as long as possible, it’s important to store it properly. Here are some tips for storing your Parmesan cheese:
Wrap it tightly:
As mentioned earlier, you should wrap your Parmesan cheese tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent air from getting in.
Store it in the fridge:
While Parmesan can be stored at room temperature, it will last longer if you keep it in the fridge. Just make sure to take the cheese out of the fridge about an hour before you plan to use it so that it can come up to room temperature.
Don’t freeze it:
While some cheeses can be frozen, Parmesan does not freeze well. Freezing can cause the cheese to become crumbly and lose its flavor.
Parmesan cheese is a delicious and versatile ingredient that can last for up to 2 years if stored properly. By following these tips for storage and knowing how to tell if your cheese has gone bad, you can enjoy fresh Parmesan whenever you need it. So go ahead and buy that whole wheel of Parmesan – just make sure you store it properly!