HOME > Chowhound > Cheese >


Storing Parmesan Reggiano Cheese in Refrigerator

In a local grocery store recently, they had just cut a huge wheel of PR cheese and were serving chunks with warm freshly baked bread and wine. I bought a wedge but am unsure how to store it in refrigerator and how long it keeps. Any help? thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Wrap tightly in good quality plastic wrap (I like Stretch-Tite....) and change the wrap EVERY time you use the cheese. Keeps for weeks and weeks this way. adam

    1. You can also freeze it for months. Cut it into manageable wedges for the fridge, store the rest. well wrapped in a freezer ziploc for at least 6 months.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Phurstluv

        Personally, I find that freezing Parmigiano throws off the texture and taste. It comes out of the freezer all crumbly which makes it impossible to grate. And the taste is much less pronounced than when it comes out of the fridge.

        1. re: SnackHappy

          That's because you need to let it come up to room temp or so, not use it straight from the freezer. Only suggested freezing it in small chunks b/c you can, it's possible, and it lasts.

        2. re: Phurstluv

          I'm not inclined to agree. Freezing will certainly change the structure. Not that that would be an issue for eventual grating. I believe it will also "pull" the proteins together more. Especially with an aged cheese. Depositing them in clumps in pockets. Not an especially pleasant texture to bite into.

          I enjoy nothing more than a chuck of good parmigiana. I like it to break naturally and the less crunch (proteins) the better.

          @ the OP
          Try freezing some and storing some in the frig and see how it does.

        3. I wrap in good qulaity waxed paper and then in a sealed plastic bag. Change the paper at every use. I have some hard cheeses from Italy and elsewhere that are years old and still great.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            I have also had good success with waxed paper and a zip-lock type bag. I don't even completely seal the bag; otherwise I get condensation which is not what you want. The occasional salt crystal I actually enjoy.

          2. Better yet, invest in a vacuum sealer. I wouldn't know what to do without mine, and I've wasted a lot less food since I bought it. Things like cheese keep a very long time in the fridge if vacuum sealed and just about forever in the freezer - no freezer burn.

            1. I wouldn't say all that is necessary, but then again it depends on what you are doing with it. I use ours in pasta and on salads almost exclusively and I put it in a plastic tuperware container without any wrap. It keeps for a long time, though it does get some of the crystalized "cells" in it. Not sure if that is due to our storing method.

              Also I've heard you should never use plastic wrap on cheese (me being a non-conformist ala above, I don't think it matters much).


              1 Reply
              1. re: babaoriley7

                I've heard that too, and my family, therefore always used aluminum foil, which never forms an air tight seal. Maybe we ate a lot of cheese, but I never remember my family throwing out moldy Parmesan.

              2. According to Steve Jenkins, author of Cheese Primer and the first American to be awarded France's prestigious Chevalier du Taste-Fromage, and associated with the cheese counters of several fine food shops in New York (Balducci's, Dean & DeLuca, Fairway Market, et al), the proper way to store Parmesan is to first, cut off only as much as you will use at one time. Moisten a piece of cloth like cheesecloth or a paper towel and wrap it around the chunk to be stored, then wrap it in aluminum foil and store it in the veg crisper of your refrigerator. Foil is not airtight so it won't "suffocate" the cheese.

                That said, I usually buy small wedges of 10 to 12 ounces or so, and store it in a ziploc bag in the meat drawer of the fridge. I compress out as much air as possible and find it keeps for weeks and weeks.

                1 Reply
                1. I like the comments below. The only thing I can tell you for sure is don't wrap it loosely in plastic wrap, and then put it in the fridge. It goes stale and nasty in a hurry!!
                  Also, the grocery stores near me will cut a small piece off if you don't need the whole brick (ask nicely). That way, you can get more as you need it, rather than storing it forever in your fridge.

                  1. Cheese paper. You can order it from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Formaticum-Chee... We were skeptical at first, but it's well worth the money if you're buying good quality cheese. It maintains the correct moisture level so the cheese neither "sweats" nor dries out.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Carrollton Foodie

                      Good cheese wrap is important. Thanks for the link as I'm sure it will be a lot cheaper than the boutique shop we're now buying at.

                      1. re: Carrollton Foodie

                        Have you tried the cheese bags from the same company?

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          i find parchment paper does just as well as something fancier. wrap it in parchment paper tightly, store in a tupperware container, and parm will last virtually forever.

                        2. re: Carrollton Foodie

                          I love cheese paper. It seems to work well for most cheeses. If you have them longer than 2 weeks or so I like to change the paper.