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Jul 17, 2009 03:42 PM

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

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  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.