The Italians love their Parmesan – but they are far from the only ones. In the rest of the world, too, the Italian hard cheese has long since become indispensable.
This also applies to Germany – the per capita consumption in the Federal Republic is over two kilograms per year. An impressive amount.
But so much popularity comes with a few questions. Probably the most pressing: What about the Parmesan shelf life and how should Parmesan be stored?
In this article I have summarized everything you need to know about the popular hard cheese and its shelf life. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
How long does Parmesan keep?
Parmesan has a shelf life of 3-6 weeks when stored in a cool, dry place in the dark. The best storage place is the refrigerator, at 4-7°C. Unopened, packaged Parmesan will keep for up to nine months.
But: If you bought a large block of parmesan, there are different ways to store it. These depend on how long the hard cheese can ultimately be kept.
In general, if the Parmesan is unopened, it should keep for about seven to nine months – of course only if you store it in the fridge. The best before date should also always be on the label.
As a rule, however, Parmesan has a slightly longer shelf life than indicated.
In addition to Parmesan in one piece, grated Parmesan is the classic in the supermarket. But what about durability here?
How long does grated Parmesan last?
Grated Parmesan is very popular in many dishes. Therefore, it can also be bought already shredded. This should also have an expiry date printed on it. However, it is quite clear that the quality of the Italian hard cheese deteriorates much faster when the product is chopped up.
Grated parmesan is also available in unrefrigerated cans in many supermarkets and Italian specialty shops. This is dehydrated, which is why it is hardly susceptible to bacterial growth.
This means that the Parmesan can be kept for up to a year beyond the MHD. Once the can is opened, you can put it in the fridge. Then the cheese can still be kept for a few months.
Parmesan Shelf life of opened and purchased hard cheeses
Once you open the packet of parmesan, the block should keep its quality for about a month or two if you don’t leave it unrefrigerated for too long. However, it stays fresh and edible for longer, usually for up to six months. This makes Parmesan the cheese that has the longest shelf life.
Once the pack of grated Parmesan is opened, you should use it in three to five days – during this period the quality is ideal. You can also use it for up to seven days, but then the quality suffers a bit.
This period also applies to parmesan that you have grated from the block yourself.
But how do you store Parmesan correctly? Is the fridge actually the best option, or just the most convenient? Let’s find out!
Read Also: Quark shelf life: how long does quark keep?
How to store Parmesan?
When it comes to Parmesan shelf life, Parmesan storage plays a major role. Basically, it can be said that Italian cheese should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place. Cool means a temperature of about 4 to 7°C. With this, the parmesan can be kept for around three weeks.
When storing Parmesan, it is also important that the cheese can breathe. Otherwise he starts to sweat – and that accelerates the formation of mold. Parmesan is better stored in blocks than grated hard cheese.
But how critical is it really to store Parmesan outside of refrigeration? After all, in the big cheese nations in particular, some types of cheese are not even stored in the fridge, but continue to mature in a cheese box on the counter.
How long does parmesan keep refrigerated?
There is no general answer to this question as it depends on the exact temperature and other factors. Also, there are stark differences between grated Parmesan and Parmesan in blocks.
However, it can be said that parmesan that has not been cooled shows significant quality losses after just 24 hours.
After this period, it can only be kept for a few days. You should definitely pay attention to the consistency and any strange taste.
Can you store parmesan in the fridge?
In fact, the fridge should be the first option when storing parmesan. It offers the best conditions for the Italian hard cheese. However, the Parmesan should not be placed blank in the fridge. The following storage options ensure that the Parmesan is stored under ideal conditions.
- greaseproof paper
- beeswax cloth
- kitchen roll
- Thin tea towel
- storage or glass jar
- A tip: You should never wrap parmesan in cling film or aluminum foil. The cheese cannot breathe in these.
- At least as important as storing Parmesan correctly is understanding how to recognize fresh Parmesan – and how to identify bad ones.
How do you recognize fresh Parmesan?
The clearest sign of fresh Parmesan is the white to beige color. The rind is also darker and harder than the rest – which, by the way, does not mean that it is not edible and edible.
The smell of Parmesan is also quite light and in no way overpowering. To check the Parmesan shelf life, you can also make sure that the hard cheese is the same color everywhere. Bigger spots are not a good sign.
How do you recognize bad, expired parmesan?
Mold spots are easy to spot once the Parmesan goes bad. If you recognize these, you should definitely dispose of the entire pack immediately.
Even before that, however, simple signs of this can be discovered. If the hard cheese changes color, that’s a sign it’s going bad. Then the color changes to dark beige or yellow.
If you want to check grated parmesan, you can examine the texture. If this has changed, then this is a strong indication that the Parmesan shelf life is coming to an end. If the cheese feels damp or spongy, then by all means discard it.
The same applies in case the parmesan smells strong and a bit strange. That, too, is a classic sign that he’s gone bad.
So that it doesn’t get that far in the first place, it makes sense to think about how you can preserve Parmesan. let’s find out
How can you preserve parmesan?
In order to preserve the parmesan, you must above all store the box well and safely. This can be done in the containers already listed, in which you can put the cheese in the fridge.
You can also fill a small jar with sea salt and then pack the parmesan in – this also extends the shelf life if you want to store parmesan.
Another extremely effective method is the dehydration of the hard cheese. However, this is difficult to achieve at home.
You can also B. Prepare and freeze a lasagna to use up the parmesan.
Conclusion: How long does Parmesan keep?
Parmesan is generally one of the cheeses that has the longest shelf life. If you conscientiously store the Italian hard cheese in the fridge, you can enjoy it for a while. If you use a few Parmesan storage tricks, you should be able to keep larger blocks of Parmesan from going bad.