The Reason You Shouldn't Throw Away Your Parmesan Cheese Rinds

The first step to upping your parmesan game is to switch from pre-shredded to grating your own curls of fresh parmesan right onto whatever it is you are serving. The second step is equally as important — learning how to make the most of your parmesan cheese rinds when every last shred is gone. What you might not have known is that the rind packs tons of flavor, even if it isn't the best for eating on top of salads or pasta. Once you learn how to use parmesan rinds, chances are you'll never toss one out again.

According to Allrecipes, there are a few things you should know and understand about the rind of parmesan cheese once you start saving it. Chief among them is that parmesan cheese rinds are just parmesan cheese that has hardened as the wheel aged on a rack in a cheese cave. So no — it isn't wax or something inedible. And that's exactly why it's a wonderful ingredient to add to dishes like soups, risotto, and other slow-cooked dishes you'd like to elevate in richness.

This is what happens to the rind when you use it

If you like the idea of using a parmesan cheese rind to add flavor to your cooking but don't want to eat it, then you need to know how the cheese will cook in whatever it is you are making. According to Food Hacks, the rind will soften and become more malleable when heated. But because the cheese is already so tough from the drying and aging process, it won't melt into the dish well.

Think of cooking with parmesan rinds as using whole spices or leaves to season dishes, such as a stick of cinnamon or bay leaves. Like those flavorful ingredients, when it is time to serve and eat the dish, you simply remove the chunk of parmesan rind. It's an easy trick to pack more flavor without investing in additional ingredients.

While you can store the rind in a resealable container in the freezer for up to six months, you likely won't have to when you realize just how many dishes you can use it for (via Allrecipes).