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Old 08-11-2021, 01:30 PM   #1
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Can you look at my parmigiano reggiano?

https://photos.app.goo.gl/WxmwkhhNV2r7NMtt9

I buy this high quality, flavorful parmigiano reggiano in medium size wedges they sell at this posh local grocery chain. If what's left here is still good, I have enough to make pesto. The internets vary widely on how long this stuff lasts, some places saying a month, and other places a year. This is probably about a year old.

The internets also say that you should watch out for darkening of the cheese and mold to determine if it is bad. As you can see here, it's gotten dark. near the rind.

1. What does the darkening mean?

2. Can mold penetrate beneath the surface of a hard cheese like this and spread inside it like it can in bread?

3. Eat it or throw it?

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Old 08-11-2021, 06:40 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert, but it doesn't look like it has gone off. It looks like it is like kinda dry and hard. I usually buy Parmigiano Regiano in largish chunks and it keeps for many months in my fridge. Once in a while it does get some mould. I cut off the mould and a bit of the surround cheese. Then I throw out the plastic bag and put the rest of the cheese in a clean bag. I have often had it get a bit hard.
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:00 PM   #3
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It's fine. Use and enjoy.
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:12 PM   #4
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Nothing wrong with it at all. Use it to make your pesto, and if thereīs any left, send it to me!
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:22 PM   #5
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Question

I appreciate the answers to question #3. Can anybody answer question #1 or #2?
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:30 PM   #6
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The darkening is just the graduation of the rind drying from exterior to interior.

I have never had a hard cheese go moldy. It dries out maybe but never moldy.

The white crystals you see are not mold. But probably salt, although not positive.

I have kept Parm in my fridge for more than a year.
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:34 PM   #7
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Absolutely. All aged cheeses ( Cheddar, aged Gouda, Edam, Parmesan, etc.) will darken from the outside in. I think (not an expert) thatīs the oxidation process.
Mould will not penetrate. No way. You might find a little bit on the outer surface ( probably because of storage conditions) but just scrape it off and eat the rest.
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragnlaw View Post
The darkening is just the graduation of the rind drying from exterior to interior.

I have never had a hard cheese go moldy. It dries out maybe but never moldy.

The white crystals you see are not mold. But probably salt, although not positive.

I have kept Parm in my fridge for more than a year.
Ive had hard cheese crystalize a little on the surface too which seemed to be just salt crystals. Never had any dietary issues as a result.
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by karadekoolaid View Post
Absolutely. All aged cheeses ( Cheddar, aged Gouda, Edam, Parmesan, etc.) will darken from the outside in. I think (not an expert) thatīs the oxidation process.
Which would translate to rancidity of the fat component. that's no good. not only does that make for an awful flavor, but most arterial damage comes from eating oxidized fats.
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Old 08-11-2021, 08:53 PM   #10
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1. darkening usually refers to mold, black mold is bad, black mold is darkening.
2. dark mold can spread but much slower than in bread in a dry hard substance like cheese
3. absolutely eat it.
I've made cheese, some of it is now 4.5 years old. The older the more delicious when it comes to parmesan. Parmesan is a currency in italy insured by insurance companies, high in salt, less molding. It's acidic, so less molding. It is my most dependable cheeses when it comes to mold.
Mold can be held off by vinegar (acetic acid), so if you are storing it for a long time, wipe it down with vinegar or a vinegar/water solution, and touching cheese causes mold so rinsing your hands in vinegar first before touching cheese is a good thing to do before you shrink wrap it. I would grate it, then freeze it and use it at will.
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Old 08-12-2021, 06:15 AM   #11
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Good tip

Quote:
Originally Posted by blissful View Post

Mold can be held off by vinegar (acetic acid), so if you are storing it for a long time, wipe it down with vinegar or a vinegar/water solution, and touching cheese causes mold so rinsing your hands in vinegar first before touching cheese is a good thing to do before you shrink wrap it. I would grate it, then freeze it and use it at will.
All good points, and an excellent tip, thanks blissful!
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Old 08-12-2021, 06:22 PM   #12
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Wellll, here's my take:
Don't the Italians age good Parm for like 10 years sometimes?
Those "crystals" are those nice bits that go crunch in your mouth
when it's good cheese.
The dark part, yes that's the part closest to the rind, I save that
for soups and stews it adds great flavor.
I've never had Parm mold on me, ever!
AND
if any of my cheeses do have a bit of mold, no biggy!
Simply cut that part off and eat the rest.
As others have said, I've kept Parm in the `fridge for
a very long time, at least so long as DH doesn't find it
at the back of the "Deli Drawer" in the `fridge in the
middle of the night and devours it ... his favorite things:
Parm
Anchovies
Salami
Fresh Italian Bread
Olives
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Old 08-12-2021, 06:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BurntSienna View Post
Which would translate to rancidity of the fat component. that's no good. not only does that make for an awful flavor, but most arterial damage comes from eating oxidized fats.
My mistake - itīs not oxidation, so thereīs no danger from "bad flavour" or " oxidised fats".
Itīs simply the process which takes place that makes the rind of the cheese harder than the inside.
And we all know that cheese rind is edible - or are there people out there who cut out the soft Camembert from its rind=
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