Cutting and storage
How to cut a wheel open
With the tip of the almond-shaped knife, draw a line dividing the wheel in half along the diameter of the two flat faces down to the sides.
The rind is cut by pushing the knife down by a couple of centimetres along the line: two almond-shaped knives are inserted at the two ends of the diameter through the sides. These knifes work as wedges and the strength they develop causes the Parmigiano Reggiano wheel to split open in two.
How to store vacuum-packed Parmigiano-Reggiano
For short periods of time, Parmigiano Reggiano can be kept at room temperature in stores without suffering any damage. Once purchased, it is advisable to store it in the refrigerator to keep all its aromatic characteristics and ensure an optimal preservation of the product.
Vacuum-packed Parmigiano Reggiano can be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature ranging from 4 to 8°C.
It is important to make sure that the package is sealed and tight, and not exposed to the air.
How to store Parmigiano Reggiano when freshly cut or taken out of the pack
When you buy a piece of Parmigiano Reggiano freshly cut or when you take it out of the vacuum-pack, it must be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature ranging from 4 to 8°C. Parmigiano Reggiano keeps its organoleptic features unchanged if stored:
- at an optimal humidity level
- far from other food (the fatty part of cheese tends to absorb other smells present in the refrigerator)
It is therefore advisable to keep it in glass or plastic containers.
Another practical solution consists in wrapping Parmigiano Reggiano in food-grade plastic film.
In this way Parmigiano Reggiano can be kept for a long time making sure periodically that its conditions do not change.
It is advisable never to freeze cheese.
Duration of storage in refrigerator
Vacuum-packed Parmigiano Reggiano can be stored in the refrigerator for several months.
Every packer is in charge of writing on the pack a date (called DMD, Date of Minimum Durability, or shelf-life that is different from the expiry date that is final), preceded by the wording “best before…” .
After opening the pack or when buying a freshly cut piece of cheese, the instructions and suggestions on how long to keep Parmigiano Reggiano vary depending on its maturation:
Parmigiano Reggiano with a maturation of 12-18 months and a higher moisture content can be kept for about 15 days.
Parmigiano Reggiano with a maturation of 24 months or more can be kept for about 1 month.
If some mould develops on the surface, it is possible to remove it using a knife.