I may receive a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. See more details here.
Waste not, want not, is how the saying goes and it rings true in what I am about to share with you. Did I ever mention that I am Italian? LOL! Yes, I did, on about every recipe I share! You know that my heritage, upbringing, and Gramma Santa truly influenced my culinary skills.
Owning an Italian Deli with a side of personal cheffing for parties was complicated. Every small business thrives when you use EVERYTHING you purchase to the extreme. I did. One of the things you may have in your refrigerator, a Parmesan Cheese rind may be one of the most versatile elements in your future recipes.
There is one rind I will share that is NOT Parmesan, but it is comparable in every way if not even better!
Stop tossing the Parmesan into the trash can when you hit the rind! There’s so much more to that little hard piece of cheese, you need to know! Keep reading to uncover the 5 Practical Uses of Parmesan Cheese Rinds? Keep reading I will share them with you now!
5 Practical Uses of Parmesan Cheese Rinds
My background influenced who I am.
Gramma Santa was straight from the Old Country and right ‘off the boat’ and I’m darn proud of that. She was one of my 2 best friends because my other Gramma (Stella) also sharpened my culinary skills with baking! You all have tried those bread recipes, well, guess who helps me when I am stuck? My 96 Year Old Gramma Stella!
I definitely had and have the best of 2 very different grandparents offering up cooking secrets that allowed me to become a Pro Home Chef and Hired Home Party Chef at so many wonderful parties around the Pittsburgh Area!
Unfortunately, Gramma Santa passed away far too early, but I know she watches down on me from the heavens. She used to put me on her kitchen counters and cook and tell me what she was doing. Guess what? No one else had the all-access pass like I did.
After she died, my mom gave me all of her cookbooks, feeling that they would mean MORE To me than anyone since I had already been witness to her creations and knew what she tossed in to make it ‘extra’!
Parmesan Cheese Rinds – Be A Mouse and Nibble Before You Buy
Cheese Options For Parmesan Cheese Rinds
As you read, you might run into some highlighted links, these are my suggestions and things I use daily. Truly they are the best of the best IMO. IF you happen to click on one of those highlighted areas, please know that if you do happen to make a purchase of that amazing product, I might earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Maybe you have never really considered that there are multiple varieties of Parmesan. Or perhaps you think Parmesan is just Parmesan, but that simply is not true. There are many to choose from, but I will share a few tidbits of information about the 3 you want to choose from as far as rinds, taste, and quality go.
Additionally, the varieties I am sharing are available at minimal prices to maximum due to aging, craftsmanship and where you purchase! Parmeggiano Reggiano, Locatelli, and there are more.
Use my article that shares 3 Best Grating Cheeses to learn more.
Parmeggiano Reggiano – Parmesan Cheese Rinds
Admittedly I am a bit of a cheese connoisseur and snob! First, owning the Italian deli made it mandatory I had a command and background on cheeses. Second, growing up, my family visited Penn Avenue weekly and one large Italian Food purveyor.
We used to buy sausage out of the coolers on strings, and capicola the same way. Then there were cheese tasting and choices. Sharp provolones to Asiago and of course a new Parmesan each week until we settled on Parmeggiano Reggiano as the household standard atop ANY Pasta dish.
Purchased as a chunk, not shredded, we would have it wrapped up in its’ plastic and then brown paper and take it home. When it was time to serve atop pasta, we grated it hands-on, not form a container.
The Truth About Container Cheese – Parmesan Cheese Rinds
Let’s get this out there if you are using grated/shredded cheese from a bag or container you have never tasted the cheese. Fresh is so much better and authentic.
If you have ever been to a grocery store, or Italian food store, where they are providing a taste-testing of their ‘grated’ cheese, its a TRAP! You are about to taste cheese they JUST Grated and then you are going to take home cheese that will change the flavor!
You will find the taste is mind-blowing. Whatever the crap is in the container is dried out, and it has changed and dried up a bit. STOP using it. Exposure to air, and light definitely kills what you tasted and it will NEVER be as fresh as it was.
I know life is easier with containers of cheese but you compromise the quality and taste. Trust me on this. Life is busy, but take these forty seconds to yourself and hand grate that cheese. Invest in a small hand grater and YOU will never be sorry. This I know with my background and very Italian Life.
Pro Tip – Parmesan Reggiano Tasting Moment
Before you cut the wedge you are about to grate, pour yourself a glass of Prosecco, or even a Sauvignon Blanc. The Prosecco or suggested wine against the nutty, mild flavor is incredible and adds another dimension to your world of tasting.
In fact, you can shave Parmesan Reggiano into small shaved pieces and serve it with crackers, fruit, Proscuitto and have an elegant appetizer. It’s versatile and not just for grating!
Parmesan Reggiano – You Hit GOLD with this Parmesan Cheese Rind
The Rind is the last piece of the cheese you will have left. In my case, it is often the first piece I cut off. Undeniably, and what you will find out, is that the rind is loaded with flavor. It’s not inedible (yes, I have tried it), instead its a tad chewy and just does not feel right going down, lol!
However, upon trying, you will then understand how flavorful it is and you don’t want to toss it out! Rinds on most Parmesan Cheeses are very hard to cut through, so do be careful in handling. Your rind is going to have the flavor that you have been tasting, but it is concentrated here! You Hit GOLD!
In reality, the texture albeit a beastie to use in any other way lends itself well to cooking. Retain it, freeze it immediately if you choose NOT to introduce it into a current recipe.
Locatelli Pecorino Romano – Cheese Rind – IT’S not Parmesan (sorry if you thought it was)
Holy heavenly light, and soft-textured cheeses with an incredibly pungent taste. I refer to this cheese as Snows’ Cheese. Why? It’s powdery white. It’s impeccable and unique quality is crafted from 100% sheep’s milk. (if there is anything else in yours run away from it, it’s not true Locatelli!)
Locatelli is aged over 9-10+ months so it’s aging process results in a very dry cheese that meets whatever you are serving with a sharp and full flavor. It’s the Queen of the cheeses for grating.
Parmesan cheese is strictly made from Cow’s Milk. Did you know that already? Whereas, Pecorino is made from a Sheep’s milk ‘ewe’. Pecorina is hard and White!
5 Practical Uses of Parmesan Cheese Rinds – It’s About Time right?
Soup never tasted so good! (1)
Now that you know to never toss away your Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, let’s cook. You’ve saved the parmesan rind or the rind of Pecorino. When you prepare that next batch of vegetable soup, chicken soup or any soup, toss that rind in!
Why? The best flavor of the cheese in the rind and as it cooks with the soup, and heats, it releases the flavor throughout the soup dish! Yes, it’s true and I do this all the time. Whether I am cooking in my Instant Pot, other electric pressure cookers, stovetop or in the dutch oven, I always add my rind.
What do I eliminate? If I am making beef vegetable soup or any other soup that calls for bouillon or broth, I eliminate it. The salt in the rind and the flavor more than take over! YUM!
Tomato Sauce (2)
Liven up that basic tomato sauce you make. When you are done simmering the onions, garlic, basil or whatever you add-in, it’s time to add in the secret ingredient, a cheese rind! Add the sauce or paste or whatever you do.
Once the liquid is in, add that cheese rind. You are not going to believe the flavor you will experience on the other end of this sauce. When complete, sample. Never will you be without a cheese rind is my guess!
By the way, I add this into my Pressure Cookers, Dutch Ovens, pots and bowls, without an issue. It just cooks. Always add as the last ingredient so it does not sink to the bottom and create a sticking mess.
Steamed Veggies Bada Bing Bada Boomya. (My own word – LOL (3)
I am a total artichoke junkie. The only short cut I will ever admit to on artichokes are buying the bags frozen at Trader Joe’s. They literally are just frozen with nothing added. This saves me the time of cleaning them!
Now, to make these sinfully addictive, I steam them, and while they are steaming (all inside my Instant Pot), there’s a cheese rind. Once I drain the steamed water and the artichoke pieces I season with olive oil and fresh ground pepper, and lightly grate a tad more grating cheese atop! Foodgasmic option and the taste from the rind enhances the steaming! Bada Bing, Bada Boomya!
Truly any veggie you steam will benefit from the addition of a cheese rind, so use those suckers to ‘kick it up a notch’ as my buddy Emeril would say!
EVOO Get’s a Makeover (4)
Rachael Ray might have made the ‘EVOO’ thing, but I make the EVOO thing and it adds so much flavor to it! Once you create this, it will become the most used ingredient in your kitchen! Ready?
Replace the lid and let sit for 2-3 days. Now, open it up, remove the cheese rind and garlic, and transfer into a serving jar. Preferably a dark jar in a cool place. Now it’s time for the reveal.
Use this for bread swipes, or put it across baked salmon with a touch of fresh ground pepper. Store purchased pizzas, need a little love so drizzle this atop before baking or after when it is piping hot. Ummmm. Can you tell I am a foodie?
The flavor is bold, without being dominant. Its flavor will liven up any dish you serve! Of course, you can pat yourself on the back because you used ALL Of the cheese chunk, not just the non-rind!
Did You Get Stuffed? (5)
Like I’ve repeatedly said, the Old Italians were sneaky with their recipes. Never did they want to divulge what they put into their ingredients. Often, recipes died with the person and can no longer be replicated. An ode and testament to their hard heads and bad way of thinking. I can say this as I am Italian, LOL.
Living through this tragedy over and over with a few relatives on ‘his’ side, I gotta say, the more I can share I do! Never do I hesitate to offer cooking options for ALL ingredients and never would I skimp on sharing.
The point is good has to be passed down, so we can all enjoy what ‘used to be’ and is ‘still!’ So let’s talk about stuffing. Yeah, stuffing. One of the best secrets that no one knew I saw, was stuffing a turkey and a chicken with the delicious Italian stuffing we make.
But wait, there’s more. I just so happened to be in a room I should not have been and I saw it, and have used it ever since. There a few of them stood, the Aunts, stuffing the turkey with Italian multiple ingredients and there it was ………..a cheese rind. What What?
It’s freakin amazing. There’s no broth or brew that could make Turkey stand out like this! Holy Freaking Delicious. If you want the Italian Stuffing Recipe that will make your Thanksgiving above and beyond, I am sharing it shortly! Stay tuned! It’s the ingredients that make this recipe kick and the flavor unparalleled.
Disclosure ~ If a purchase is made using one of the affiliate links on this website we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!