Parmesan cheese is a type of hard Italian cheese that has been aged for at least 12 months and sometimes up to 36.
It’s often used on top of pasta or other dishes such as salads, soups.
Storing Parmesan cheese in the fridge or freezer will keep it fresh longer than leaving it out on your countertop.
In this blog post, we will discuss how to store parmesan cheese, tell when vintage parmesan has gone bad, and how long parmesan cheese lasts?
What is Parmesan Cheese?
Parmesan cheese is a rigid, granular cow’s milk cheese with a strong and often sharp flavor.
It can be grated or shaved into thin flakes used as an ingredient for many dishes like pasta salad, soups, pizzas, and casseroles.
According to strict production laws, the word “Parmigiano-Reggiano” refers to the specific variety of Parmesan made in Italy according to strict production laws; it has been granted European Union Protected Geographic Indication status Italian law since 1996.
The term should not be confused with “parma ham,” which comes from pigs raised around Parma in northern Italy but does not include any part of the pig such as fatback, leg, or shoulder.
Parmesan Cheese is one of the most popular cheeses in North America due to its versatility and delicious taste.
For years it has been considered “the King” when it comes to table-top foods because not only does this tasty treat provide a welcome crunch, but it is also a delicious addition to many dishes because of its salty flavor.
Parmesan’s rich taste pairs wonderfully with other cheeses such as cheddar and jack or can be used for seasoning in soups and sauces instead of salt.
How to Store Parmesan Cheese?
So you just picked up a fresh wheel of Parmesan cheese from the grocery store.
The first question running through your mind is, “How can I keep it fresher for longer?”
Here are some quick tips to make sure that this tasty treat lasts as long as possible:
- Keep them in their original wrappings and place them away from any heat source such as ovens or radiators (or pets). This will help maintain its flavor and prevent oxidation which may cause spoilage over time.
- When you remove a wedge from the wheel, wrap it tightly in plastic or place it back into its original packaging and store them in your fridge to help maintain its freshness and prevent any unwanted smells from coming through.
- Store the cheese in your fridge as quickly as possible, even if it is not opened.
How Long Does Parmesan Cheese Last? Does Parmesan Cheese Go Bad?
Parmesan is a hard, salty cheese that is a staple in many kitchens.
Parmesan can last for an extremely long time when it is appropriately stored and unopened.
It could even go as far as lasting up until two years if it’s kept sealed well enough.
This hardened texture of the cheese means that its shelf life will be much longer than other cheeses like cheddar or brie, which have softer surfaces and are more prone to mold growth.
The outer layer outside your Parmesan may become dry, but this does not mean there is anything wrong with the inside, which can remain fresh and delicious.
Once the seal has been broken on a package of Parmesan, it can be stored in an airtight container in your fridge for another month before going bad.
It’s best not to freeze fresh Parmesan as freezing may cause some texture changes such as becoming dry or grainy.
Grated or shredded Parmesan that is refrigerated should also have a “use-by” date, and it should keep for about one week past that date, though not any further.
What Happens if You Eat Expired Parmesan Cheese?
Parmesan cheese has always been widespread, but some might not realize that they are eating something past its expiration date.
While it is true that cheese may not taste as good, will go a little bad, and can cause some stomach discomfort due to the bacteria in both fresh and aged cheeses, most of these problems are only generated when you eat moldy or rotten food.
When parmesan cheese expires, it might become slightly dryer, harder to grate, and hold its shapeless well because the fat has gone rancid but still tastes ok if stored correctly.
Can You Freeze Parmesan Cheese?
Parmesan cheese can be frozen with minimal risk of freezer burn or discoloration.
It is best to freeze it in a vacuum sealer bag or another airtight container to preserve its flavorful properties and aroma.
In general, the best time to freeze cheese is when it has just been purchased and removed from its original packaging.
One challenge with freezing grated Parmesan cheese is losing its texture, making it challenging to grate once thawed.
Luckily, in most cases, you’ll want to freeze the cheese as-is and not grate it beforehand.
If you ask for Parmesan shredded at restaurants or buy pre-shredded brands, then processing is already done for you, and all you need to do is freeze them.
Even if the cheese has been processed before freezing, many people still believe that freezing can “freeze” flavors into the delicious dairy product from earlier stages of storage (whether frozen solid or just partially so).
How to Tell When Parmesan Cheese Has Gone Bad?
The flavor of Parmesan cheese is a little sharper and saltier than that of other cheeses, so it’s best to use fresh Parmesan even if its sell-by date isn’t up yet.
If the cheese has a strange odor, then it’s time to throw out your Parmesan.
The smell of bad Parmesan can be described as “rancid” or musty like old milk in an unopened carton.
And if you see mold on the surface of the cheese, it needs to go immediately.
Mold is typically white, yellow-green, or fuzzy and should not be present at all on your cheese since it indicates that the product is spoiled.
Shredded parmesan cheese that has gone bad will be spongy or visibly wet.
If it smells off or is discolored, then it’s time to get rid of that cheese.
The best way to tell if your Parmesan is still good? It should have a hard, firm consistency and feel dry when you touch it.
If the texture feels sticky or moist, toss away the cheese as well.
In conclusion, Parmesan is a versatile ingredient used on pasta dishes or sauces to add some sharp and salty flavor.
We hope this article helped you understand the science behind why Parmesan may go bad.
Although a few factors can contribute to spoilage, it is not something that should be too concerning and will generally last a few weeks in the fridge.
If you suspect that your Parmesan cheese has gone bad, it is best to discard the product and buy a fresh one.