No matter where I am in life, purchasing my very own slice of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese always feels like having a luxury item in the fridge. I’ll grate it on nearly anything, snack on little slices in between meals and experiment with wine, fruits, and honey pairings. Those tiny crystalized crunchy amino acids throughout are more satisfying than potato chips and feel as lavish as fine caviar. It’s no wonder a major Italian bank, Credito Emiliano, uses wheels of Parmesan to back their loans. A wheel is worth hundreds of euros and with its long aging time, it’s a safe long-term investment for the bank. (BTW I started a job at a bank this week, I'll make this suggestion haha).
Parmigiano Reggiano is so valuable, not just in monetary terms, when you consider the history and production process for this special piece of Italian gastronomical culture, it's even more amazing! This is why I use all of Parmigiano Reggiano, including the rind. So, next time you’ve eaten up the center, keep the rind and try these suggestions:
Add it to your broth. Next time you’re making chicken, beef or vegetable broth, add the rind. It’ll make it richer and more filling.
Cut rinds into 1” by 1” squares and abbrustolire (to sear) them on a skillet. It gets crunchy on the outside and warm and melty inside!
Simmer the rind with tomatoes while making pasta sauce then remove it before serving. It’ll add lots of umami and is a great fix if you’ve run out of Parm to sprinkle on top of your pasta dinner.
I’ve been told…. You can give it to your dogs as a chew toy. I’m sure our little fur babies would love a rind of Parmesan cheese, but I’m not sure how well they can digest it…. I'm not sure who tries out the ideas in my newsletters, but perhaps this one isn't the place to start.
Do you love formaggio as much as I do? I’ve spent years tasting and learning about Italian cheeses from soft Ricotta to hard Parm. How about an Italian cheese class where we will travel through Italy, top to bottom, learning about the history, fun facts, pairing and cooking ideas of their most iconic cheeses and perhaps discover more! Classes can be held virtually on Zoom or in-person, with lots of Prosecco. To get started, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s eat cheese!