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Old 08-25-2014, 07:58 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, 08:20 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, 08:27 AM   #3
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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, 08:29 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, 08:31 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, 10:25 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, 10:35 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, 12:11 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, 12:44 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, 12:58 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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Old 08-25-2014, 01:08 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info ladies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
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.
I have been using a microplane. I was wondering how close to the edge to plane it. Okay, I did make some parm curls with a cheese plane too.
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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.
Yeah, I'm using imported Parmigiano Reggiano too. I was just too lazy to spell it.

Parm comes in a can? Isn't that the already grated stuff?
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:12 PM   #12
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Yeah, I'm using imported Parmigiano Reggiano too. I was just too lazy to spell it.
You're welcome and I'll admit I had to look it up to make sure I spelled correctly.
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:12 PM   #13
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No, no not the green can!!!!
I will sometimes add parm bones to my tomato sauce.
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:15 PM   #14
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Parm comes in a can? Isn't that the already grated stuff?
Yes, it's already grated and has stuff to prevent it from caking, etc. Once I tasted the real thing, I never bought it again.

I need to make some more pesto today with my bounty of fresh basil. Time to make more Parm-Reg rinds!
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:30 PM   #15
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No, no not the green can!!!!
I will sometimes add parm bones to my tomato sauce.
Parm bones, I like that.

I've never bought the green can.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:15 PM   #16
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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?
I've never thought of it. When the grater stops working I chuck what's left in a box in the 'fridge
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:16 PM   #17
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I've never thought of it. When the grater stops working I chuck what's left in a box in the 'fridge
That's exactly the kind of description I was looking for.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:23 PM   #18
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It *is* edible, though. It's cheese with a different consistency, not something else added to the cheese.
Of course it's edible. I didn't say it wasn't. Perhaps I should have said that the rind occurs as part of the manufacturing process. Or even "occurs naturally".
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:18 AM   #19
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Question

Is it only parmesan rinds that work well in soups? Can other rinds be used (from hard cheese) or is there a reason why not? (I note that they seem to be less hard).
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:58 AM   #20
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Of course it's edible. I didn't say it wasn't. Perhaps I should have said that the rind occurs as part of the manufacturing process. Or even "occurs naturally".
When you said you threw it away after using it, I thought people who are not familiar with it might think you did that because it shouldn't be eaten.
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