Parmesan cheese originates from Italy, and it is popular because of its long shelf life and firm texture. Since parmesan cheese is sold in bulk and it is nearly impossible to consume all of it in one sitting, you need to know how to preserve it properly.
This article will go over how to tell if your parmesan cheese is safe to eat, as well as the storage conditions and indicators to watch for in case you are unsure about the freshness of your cheese.
How Can You Preserve Your Parmesan Cheese?
Knowing how to store your parmesan cheese is vital to prevent it from going bad within a short time. The state in which you purchase your cheese will dictate how you preserve it. You can get parmesan cheese either as a block or shredded.
If you buy yours as a block, you should immediately put it in the fridge once you get home. You don’t have to remove the original packaging if you’re not planning to use the cheese at the moment.
Once you open it, put aluminum foil around it when it’s still in its packaging. You can also wrap the cheese itself in cheese paper, wax, or parchment paper to prevent water loss, which will dehydrate it.
Chilling parmesan cheese in a tightly sealed freezer bag is also an option. Alternatively, you can put it in an airtight container and refrigerate it. This is not always advisable, as there will still be air in the jar once you insert the block of parmesan cheese.
If you buy your parmesan cheese shredded, there are two ways to store it. For unopened shredded cheese, you’re supposed to preserve it the same way you found it held in the supermarket.
Once you open the shredded cheese, make sure you refrigerate it in a well-sealed bag, squeezing all the air out, whether it was refrigerated in the supermarket or not.
Can Parmesan Cheese Be Frozen?
It is possible to freeze a block of parmesan cheese, but it is unnecessary. This is because it lasts in the fridge for a lengthy amount of time.
On the other hand, shredded parmesan cheese usually lasts for only a few days. If you want your shredded cheese to last longer, freezing it should be your go-to option. It freezes well, so you can comfortably use it in all your dishes.
Is Parmesan Cheese Good for a Long Time?
Parmesan cheese wedge lasts longer since it’s hard. If unopened, it will last about 7-9 months in the fridge. It also comes with an expiry date. Ensure you follow that strictly. You can only use it for about a month past that date. Once you open it, store it for only two months to keep its best quality.
Shredded parmesan cheese that’s sold unrefrigerated does not have the best quality since it’s already shredded; hence it has a short lifespan. It comes with an expiry date, which it can only last you up to one week past this date if it remains unopened. Once you open it, to get the best quality, use it within 3-5 days while in the fridge.
Shredded parmesan cheese sold unrefrigerated does not have any water content, so bacteria growth in this kind of cheese is rare. This prolongs the shelf-life of the cheese. If it is unopened, check the expiry date to know how long you can store it. You can still consume it one month past that date, but not longer than that. Once you open it, preserve it in the fridge for about 4–6 months.
Signs that Your Parmesan Cheese is Bad
One of the most common signs that your parmesan cheese is bad is mold. It is usually dark green in appearance. For a block of parmesan cheese, you can remove the mold and consume the rest of the cheese. However, for shredded cheese, throw it away immediately if you spot mold.
Normal parmesan cheese is white or beige. Apart from mold, if the color changes to a dark yellow, grey, or dark beige, the cheese is bad. Upon tasting it, you might also notice a pungent smell coming from the cheese or a sour taste. These are indicators of spoilt cheese.
In conclusion, parmesan cheese is an excellent addition to your food, especially if you prefer cheesy dishes. There’s no better way to get the most out of it than to follow the above storage and shelf life instructions.
Related: How Long Does Shredded Cheese Last?
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