An unofficial blueprint, the rind is a crucial part of a cheese’s flavor profile. Not eating some of a completely comestible cheese rind is like eating around the frosting on a piece of cake – you’d be missing part of the total cheese experience.
Reading the marked rind of a Parmesan is like a lesson in history. These rinds are natural, edible, and harder than most. Here are some ideas for your Parmesan remains:
1. Simmer with soups and stews or add the rice pot. Nutty flavor and a tad extra fat lend perfectly to almost any one-pot dish. If the rind doesn’t dissolve, just spoon it out before serving. Think tomato soups, rich and herbaceous risotto dishes.
2. Grill the rind ‘til soft, chewy and pliant. Lay on crusty bread or crackers for a warm treat. Drizzle a few small lines of good honey over top.
3. Just like marshmallows over a fire –spear and hold the rind over an open stovetop flame. Make sure all that’s left is the actual rind (the hardest part), or you’ll have a melty mess. Scorch until rind is as burnt as you like. Gnaw on that thing (in private) or cut up the charred rinds into pieces and toss into dishes like salads, rice, or soup for little punches of flavor.