It is a type of hard cheese produced from cow’s milk left to age for months to acquire the optimum flavor and consistency for consumption. Parmesan cheese has become very popular with all kinds of diners worldwide, even above the regional cheeses available. Not for nothing is it said that this type of cheese has large amounts of umami flavor, the fifth basic flavor that is used to classify the tasty.
If you are interested in buying Parmesan cheese, try it, add it to your regular diet or use it in a recipe that calls for it. Still, you don’t know what kind of care it needs to keep it in good condition or how long it will last, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you will find everything related to the preservation and duration of Parmesan cheese.
How to store Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan cheese is a premium quality cheese used to accompany pasta and soups, but it can also accompany some fruits and be eaten only as an aperitif. Being a cheese that is aged for so long, it acquires the property of being easily digestible. For this reason, doctors in Italy recommend its consumption to people with delicate diets such as pregnant women, the elderly, infants, and athletes. The only way to enjoy the benefits that this cheese can offer you safely is by making sure to store it properly both to preserve its quality and prevent it from spoiling. That is why it is a necessity that you know all the rules and parameters that you must follow to fulfil this purpose.
To delve into the subject, you should know that you can find Parmesan cheese in two presentations, blocks of cheese and grated cheese in the market. Both types have their storage methods that can be grouped according to their classifications:
Cheese blocks, in general, must remain in cold environments, and Parmesan cheese is no exception. Once you bring your Parmesan cheese home, you should store it in your refrigerator in an area where the temperature remains constant, so we do not recommend that you leave it on the door.
Since Parmesan cheese blocks generally come in vacuum-sealed packages, you don’t have to worry that it may be affected by contaminants or odors from other foods with which it shares space in the refrigerator.
Once you have opened the packaging, your best option is to place the Parmesan cheese in a freezer bag and remove all the air it has before storing it. You can also store your Parmesan cheese in an airtight container, but it will not be the same as the bag because it will have much more air inside.
You can find grated Parmesan cheese in two options, refrigerated and at room temperature. It is always advisable to store it in the conditions you find in the store where you bought it. Once you have opened the packaging of the grated cheese, then you must refrigerate it.
If the packaging that the grated Parmesan cheese comes in prevents you from being able to reseal it, then you should store it in an airtight container or a freezer bag. It also applies to homemade grated cheese.
Can You Freeze Parmesan Cheese?
If you bought Parmesan cheese, but you don’t usually prepare recipes that often use it, you may be interested in long-term storage. If this is the case, you will be happy to know that freezing Parmesan cheese is possible, so you can count on this option to extend the time that can last in good condition.
It should be noted that cheese blocks do not usually require freezing because they have a long shelf life, and keeping them refrigerated is sufficient. The case of grated Parmesan cheese is another story, this version has a shorter shelf life, and freezing helps significantly extend how long you can use it.
How Long Does Parmesan Cheese Last
Like all hard cheeses, Parmesan cheese has a long-lasting capacity. Therefore you should not worry if it remains stored for a couple of weeks because it will be perfectly usable as long as you have followed all the instructions on storing it properly.
In general, Parmesan cheese comes with a label that recommends that it be consumed before a deadline. It is usually around ten months. Still, after that period has elapsed, it will remain safe to consume and maintain its freshness for at least six months.
The previous situation applies to blocks of cheese. In the case of grated Parmesan cheese, things are different. This presentation of Parmesan cheese does not have the same duration because most of its surface is in contact with the air, thus its general duration. At the same time, it is kept refrigerated, and this seal will be the one indicated on its packaging plus seven days. After opening the packaging, it will last about a week. If you freeze, it can last up to two months.
How to Tell If Parmesan Cheese Is Bad
Even though Parmesan cheese has a long shelf life, it can spoil. To avoid this situation, you must be careful and check it every time you plan to use it before consuming it to avoid the possibility of poisoning from eating a portion of food in poor condition.
When you check your block of Parmesan cheese to see if it is in good condition, you should be aware of the presence of mold. Luckily this situation can be solved by simply removing the affected area.
When it comes to grated Parmesan cheese, you must consider characteristics such as darkening of the color, the presence of mold, and the perception of bad odors. If your cheese has any of these characteristics, then you must proceed to discard it.
In neither of the two cases, you find signs that tell you that something is wrong, then you can consume it without worrying that it is in bad condition.