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Old 08-25-2014, 08:58 AM   #1
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Parmesan Cheese Rinds in soup Consistency Question.

So a few weeks ago, i made a soup which called for throwing a Parmesan cheese rind in it ( which I did).

When the soup was ready, the rind had the perfect consistency. It was Chewy, cheesy, slightly melted, but still hard enough to hold its shape. It was the best part of the soup. I found myself fishing around for all the pieces.

So, the next time I made the soup, I figured, why not double up on the cheese, since it was my favorite part of the soup. I cut up the rind into bite sized chunks. Then I cut up the rest of the cheese into bite sized chunks, and followed the recipe as I did previously.

When the soup was done, I started fishing around to find the little chunks of cheese I'd been so patient waiting for, just to find a big, melted, gooey clump of cheese at the bottom.

What I figured was that the rind was more dried out, so would react well when making the soup, but the center of the cheese ( which I also cut up and added) was not hard enough, and just completely melted ( as any cheese would) .

So here is my question:

Is there anyway to convert the entire wedge of Parmesan cheese into a rind like consistency so it would all melt at the same rate and have the same ultimate consistency? If not, I would have to buy multiple wedges just for the rinds.

I know if cheese is left around long enough ( assuming it doesnt mold) it does dry out.

Anyway, maybe Im crazy, just curious if anyone has any suggestions

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Old 08-25-2014, 09:20 AM   #2
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Not that I know of. The rind forms naturally as a result of aging. I don't know of a way to speed that up.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
So a few weeks ago, i made a soup which called for throwing a Parmesan cheese rind in it ( which I did).

When the soup was ready, the rind had the perfect consistency. It was Chewy, cheesy, slightly melted, but still hard enough to hold its shape. It was the best part of the soup. I found myself fishing around for all the pieces.

So, the next time I made the soup, I figured, why not double up on the cheese, since it was my favorite part of the soup. I cut up the rind into bite sized chunks. Then I cut up the rest of the cheese into bite sized chunks, and followed the recipe as I did previously.

When the soup was done, I started fishing around to find the little chunks of cheese I'd been so patient waiting for, just to find a big, melted, gooey clump of cheese at the bottom.

What I figured was that the rind was more dried out, so would react well when making the soup, but the center of the cheese ( which I also cut up and added) was not hard enough, and just completely melted ( as any cheese would) .

So here is my question:

Is there anyway to convert the entire wedge of Parmesan cheese into a rind like consistency so it would all melt at the same rate and have the same ultimate consistency? If not, I would have to buy multiple wedges just for the rinds.

I know if cheese is left around long enough ( assuming it doesnt mold) it does dry out.

Anyway, maybe Im crazy, just curious if anyone has any suggestions
When I have used up a piece of Parmesan I save the rind to pop into home-made soup to add flavour - recommended by a former Italian neighbour. I don't cut it up as it isn't necessary. We don't eat it. I fish it out before serving and throw it away.The rind is part of the manufacturing process and can't be fabricated at home. It's protection for the cheese while it's maturing and in storage.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:29 AM   #4
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I save the rind from Parmesan that I've used up to pop into soup to add flavour - recommended by a former Italian neighbour. I don't cut it up as it isn't necessary. We don't eat it. I fish it out before serving and throw it away.The rind is part of the manufacturing process and can't be fabricated at home. It's protection for the cheese while it's maturing and in storage.
It *is* edible, though. It's cheese with a different consistency, not something else added to the cheese.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:31 AM   #5
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It almost had the same consistency as chewing gum, but it ultimately broke down. Hmm parmesan flavored chewing gum??? Think Im on to something :)
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:25 AM   #6
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You can freeze the rinds. I've used them in soups but have always just tossed them because they look .... well yucky... after cooking. Guess I'll have to try a nibble next time.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:35 AM   #7
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You can freeze the rinds. I've used them in soups but have always just tossed them because they look .... well yucky... after cooking. Guess I'll have to try a nibble next time.
Yup! I have a bunch in a zippy bag in the freezer right now, just waiting for fall/winter comfort food season!
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:11 PM   #8
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I'm curious about using the rinds of Parmesan. How thick are they? Does it depend on how fresh the parm is?
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:44 PM   #9
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We just grate the cheese off until we are practically into the rind. I just throw whatever size piece(s) into the soup pot that seem appropriate for the amount I'm making and/or whatever I have on hand.

Oh, and just for clarity, I'm talking about real parmigiano reggiano rind, not the cheap (or maybe not) stuff made that has to call itself parmesan. I don't think I'd want that in my soup considering what some of it tastes like.
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:58 PM   #10
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I'd guess mine are 1/4 to 1/2 inch in thickness. When I'm done with the cheese, I just throw the rind into a bag in the freezer and take them out as needed. They will last essentially forever.

I only use imported Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, too, although less expensive Parmesan cheese is fine, it's just not aged as long, so it costs less. I'm talking about real cheese, not the stuff in a can with fillers. Also, PR cheese imported from Italy has a different flavor - the flavor depends in part on the microbes in the environment.
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