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Jan 9, 2014 02:05 AM

No parmesan rinds...?

I've always wanted to give my tomato soups, pasta sauces, stews etc that unbelievable umami kick that comes from adding a parmesan rind or two to the stock.

The problem is, I just don't use parmesan enough to ever have any rinds lying around, and I'm hardly going to buy a big block of expensive cheese just to cut off and use what ought to be the 'leftover waste'! :D I wondered whether it would have the same effect if I grated parmesan directly into a stock or stuck in a block of non-rindy parmesan (i.e. the actual cheese) to simmer with the other ingredients, or would it melt and curdle and stick to everything and create a horrible dairy scum on the surface as I suspect it would?

Please, no suggestions to just 'use more parmesan' ;P

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  1. There are other ways to provide yourself with parmigiano rinds than to up your consumption of parmigiano. If you have a decent cheese monger, they might save you some pieces. You can trim the rind off the piece you're grating now (using a proper almond-shaped knife so that it breaks off) and cut it into pieces and use one at a time. You can keep the rest in the freezer.

    In the absence of a piece of rind, just grate the cheese onto the finished soup or stir it in shortly before serving. I wouldn't worry about undesirable side effects if you use a piece of cheese, but it would be an unusual thing to do. Actually, I haven't heard of the rind going into stock but rather into soup. Stock isn't even really an Italian thing. The basis of Italian soups is brodo. To make, say, minestrone, you combine vegetables and brodo and that is where you toss the piece of rind as they cook together.

    1. If you are close to a Wegmans grocery store, they sell parmesan rinds - about 3 small rinds to a plastic container in their cheese shop

      1. Rinds of other cheeses can also be used. Also, if you find that a badly-wrapped piece of cheese has hidden out in the hinterlands of your fridge until it's dried out, toss it into your simmering soup. Just be certain that it's actually rind, and not a wax or plastic coating.

        1. Most cheese shops will sell you any size piece of parm you desire. Get a small wedge, us the rinds for your soups, sauces and grate the rest as needed for pasta's etc. Parm also freezes well.

          1. Lots of Whole Foods are selling containers of parm rinds these days. Check in the cheese dept.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Splendid Spatula

              Yeah, all part of their sneaky special displays. To the shopper not paying attention, they think the cheese is on sale because it is piled high under a big sale sign. And selling rinds at $9 lb is not a value. And the cheese is $19.99 lb. They do the same thing with canned tomatoes - dominating the display with expensive oils and pastas. It's like a legal bait and switch to a distracted shopper.

              And why has parm gotten so expensive in the past few years? Have new import taxes been levied? Just a few years ago $9.99 lb was available on monthly sales.