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Portioning Parmesan


JoNorvelleWalker
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2 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

Yup! Too cheesy.

As if there's such a thing. Bah! xD

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I have learned to keep some shredded parmesan on hand for days when I run out of steam and can't even muster enough energy to grate some cheese onto my pasta.  So I always grate some parmesan and some cheddar to have on hand. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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Venit tempus:

 

Parmesan01192017.png

 

To my experience Parmigiano-Reggiano has always been a hard white cheese.  This is a moist yellow cheese.  Note rind on two edges.

 

 

Portioned01192017.png

 

My first attempt!  Already a tradition.  The Portioning of the Parmesan.  Think of The Illumination of the City or The Running of the Bulls.

 

Did I mention this is a moist cheese?  I ate a good bit out of hand.  I now see how Parmigiano-Reggiano can be called the world's greatest cheese.  The large truncated wedge was vacuum sealed.

 

 

Grated01192017.png

 

The rest was then grated for tonight's Fettuccine Al Funghi.

 

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I'm really glad you purchased and appreciated it! "Vacche rosse" (translated "red cows") is the best consortium making Parmigiano, so I would suggest to keep buying that type and not other Parmigiano.

When you have a high quality product like this one then the best thing to do is to cut a piece and eat it on its own as it is. Keep it in your mouth for long time, chewing the less possibile, like you do for a high quality dark chocolate.

For portioning you can use an oyster shucker, if you don't have the appropriate tool.

There is a great use for the rinds, it's traditional for Italian farmers but never became mainstream. Pick a piece of rind, grate the outer layer with your favourite grater (Microplane or whatever) until you get a "clean" piece (you need to grate away the wax and the marked prints). Pierce it with a fork, then roast it on an open flame. You need to keep it about 5 cm (2 inches) far from the flame, on the top side (not directly on top otherwise some fat will drip on the flame). Move it slowly to get an equal heat distribution, trying to avoid burning the surface. When one side of the rind is roasted, pick out the fork, pierce the roasted side and repeat the roasting for the unroasted side. After this you end up getting a tender melt-in-mouth piece of Parmigiano rind, one of the best snacks ever. Almost heavenly if you eat it with a slice of "lingua salmistrata" (corned beef tongue). If you have a bag of rinds in your fridge then you have a treasure to put to good use.
 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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  • 2 weeks later...

As for rinds, I cut them into small pieces and keep them in an air-tight box in the freezer for minestrone. 

 

As for the kilo of vacche rosse (and congrats to the OP), the best would be to divide it and vacuum pack one piece. The screwdriver and mallet idea is not half bad. At the source they would do it with a wire-type cutter, but the other way would be to take a large parmigiano knife (the almond-shaped kind) and score the rind, then put the point of the knife in the score and whack it, repeating along the line of the score, the idea being to break the cheese rather than cut. However, if you can manage to cut it with a chef's knife, that is perfectly fine. Then for smaller pieces, break it with a parmigiano knife (small is fine) or something pointy, again, letting the cheese break along its natural fissures. 

 

For grating, the old-fashioned star-shaped holes are what you want. Microplane now makes a grater like that, which I love, but any old-fashioned grater will do. For haste and/or quantity, I have had good results grating in the Thermomix (Bimby in Italy) and Cuisinart. I have never gotten anywhere with the rotary grater, but I known many people swear by them.  If you want shavings, like for a raw-mushroom salad or carpaccio or something, use the kind of cheese slicer that looks like a small spatula with a slot near the handle. Other than chunks for eating straight, those are the only two formats in common use. 

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Maureen B. Fant
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I have one of those paddles with holes but until thirty seconds ago I had absolutely no idea what it was for. I acquired it when cleaning out my mother's apartment and I find that it works very effectively for grating whole nutmeg. As for hard cheeses, I like to grate them on the box grater. I'm partial to the second smallest side, which yields fluffy little strands rather than dust.

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At the current time, one could go to this page:  http://www.morethankitchen.com/product/1872696030 and legally view an image which appears to show the tool being used like a standard grater as you have described.  Now that I see that your parmesan is very fresh/moist, perhaps the idea is to crumble it - sort of like making tiny versions of the chunks you would break off with one of these knives: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Parmesan_cheese_knife_on_block_of_cheese.jpg.

 

Edited by rustwood
poor memory (log)
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