Parmesan cheese is a delicious Italian cheese that comes in many different grades and forms. You will notice when you buy parmesan cheese that it has a best by date on it and not an expiration date.
So you might be wondering whether parmesan cheese goes bad if there is no expiration date. The simple answer is yes, parmesan cheese does go bad eventually.
Knowing when and how to tell if it has gone bad is what I will be going over here.
How to know if parmesan cheese has gone bad
When you are buying parmesan cheese you want to make sure that you look at the “pack-on” date or the “best by” date. The fresher the cheese when you buy it, the longer it will last you.
Once you notice that it is drying out and turning a grey or yellowish color it has gone bad and you should discard the container or block of parmesan. Another obvious sign of parmesan that is bad is green mold.
If you have a block of parmesan with a small spot or two of mold on it, it is ok to cut that part off and be safe to eat the rest.
If you smell a sour or rancid smell that is also a good indicator that it is no longer good. Parmesan cheese has a pretty strong smell when it is fresh but it shouldn’t smell moldy.
The same goes for the taste. You do not want to eat parmesan that tastes sour or moldy. It’s not worth the risk and you should dispose of the cheese.
If you grate your cheese and you don’t have one learn how to grate cheese without a grater.
1. Grated parmesan cheese
Some find it more convenient to buy parmesan already grated. It has its pros and cons.
The pros to buying parmesan already grated are that you can grab it and it’s ready to use in your sauce, on your pizza, or whatever to like to add it to.
The con to buying grated parmesan is that it doesn’t last as long and it doesn’t taste as fresh as when it is freshly grated from a block.
If you are buying grated parmesan cheese you will see that they have put a best by date on the bag or container.
Best by or used by dates are a recommendation but you can usually use them a week or so after the date on the container be sure to look at it well and smell it to make sure it is ok.
As long as you store it in the refrigerator it will last you upwards of a month.
2. Block of Parmesan cheese
Personally, I like to buy parmesan in a block. It tends to be fresher, and I love its taste when I freshly grate it right onto my food.
There are a couple of kinds of cheese graters that are great to use. All you have to do is cut off a small chunk and then grate however much you need for your dish.
You can also leave some on the table for people to grate onto their dishes.
Parmesan cheese bought in a block tends to last you a while. Because it is a dehydrated cheese, it doesn’t have a lot of moisture to attract mold to grow on it and because of that, it can last longer.
You want to be sure to wrap it in saran wrap or foil tightly to keep the moisture off it.
You might notice that it only has a “packed on a date” on it. This is so that you know when it was cut from the wheel and wrapped.
It will last up to 6 weeks stored properly in the fridge and about 4 months unopened.