Why doesn’t parmesan cheese melt?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “why doesn’t parmesan cheese melt” with an in-depth analysis of the reason why parmesan cheese does not melt. Moreover, we are going to discuss the tips to preserve the quality of parmesan cheese for a long time.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Why doesn’t parmesan cheese melt?

There can be a couple of reasons why your parmesan cheese is not melting including the presence of corn starch and the low-quality parmesan cheese.

Another potential reason can be that you are not heating the parmesan cheese at an appropriate temperature. As parmesan cheese has a low moisture content, therefore it takes some time and more temperature as compared to other varieties of cheese to melt. 

In the case of the store-bought grated, shredded, or ground parmesan cheese, the presence of corn starch does interfere with the melting of the cheese and even make it clumpy. 

Corn starch is added to the grated, shredded, or ground cheese to prevent them from sticking together, thus acting as a non-stick agent. Thus in the scenario where too much non-stick agent is added to the cheese, the cheese simply won’t melt well.

Secondly, as we have discussed that cheese is made by using rennet, so if some other acids are used along with rennet to make fake parmesan cheese, then this fake cheese won’t melt well. 

So what these acid added cheeses do is that they retain their stringy texture at all costs, thereby they don’t melt well. 

So the next time if you heat your parmesan cheese and it comes out stringy then it is the indication that it is not rennet made cheese.

  1. So when it comes to pre-grated store-bought parmesan cheese, you can sometimes come across some issues. So if your store-bought grated parmesan cheese does not melt well or if it is clumpy then it indicates that either the parmesan cheese was not of good quality or that there was some cornstarch present in it. 

It is worth mentioning that corn starch is added to the pre-grated parmesan cheese to keep it from sticking together in the package.

  1. So the store-bought ground parmesan cheese has a lot of corn starch covering on it that makes it difficult to melt it and in most scenarios, it won’t melt well.
  1. So when it comes to the shredded cheese as it has a bigger flake size than the grated parmesan cheese, therefore less cornstarch is added to it.

 But if you face some problems while melting your store-bought shredded parmesan cheese then it means that it either has corn starch added in it or simply the parmesan cheese from which these are made was not of good quality.

  1. So a freshly grated parmesan cheese melts readily. What you gotta do is to buy a wedge or block of the original Parmigiano-Reggiano and grate it yourself at home to get that perfectly melted parmesan cheese. 

Moreover, as the grated parmesan cheese has a larger surface area than the wedge or block of the cheese therefore it melts down easily and quickly (as the heat gets a larger surface area to act upon).

It is worth mentioning that the real parmesan cheese does melt, giving you a rich and creamy texture. So be it your sauces or pizzas it gives that delicious umami taste with the hint of salty flavor. 

So the parmesan cheese is made using a complex set of enzymes known as rennet. What this rennet does is that it contains the protease enzyme (chymosin) that has the power to curdle the casein protein present in the milk, thereby making the milk or milk products dissolve or melt readily when heated.

It is worth mentioning that parmesan cheese changes the consistency of the dish it is used in, so if you are using parmesan cheese in your sauce, it will have a thicker consistency. Moreover, as parmesan cheese has that umami and salty flavor, therefore it is recommended to add the seasonings after adding the parmesan cheese. 

You can try some tricks to make sure that your parmesan cheese melts well.  Firstly the size of your cheese should not be big, you should always opt for finely grated cheese rather than using a full wedge of cheese.

Moreover, you should always opt to add the grated cheese gradually to the sauce or whatever dish you want to put it in. By doing so the cheese will have the time to uniformly melt and mix in the whole mixture.

Tips to preserve the quality of parmesan cheese

  1. The parmesan cheese should be stored wrapped in parchment or wax paper in an air-tight container or a plastic zipper bag. 
  1. It is the best practice to wrap a wax paper or parchment paper around your parmesan cheese wedge or block and afterward wrap a plastic wrap around it for maximum protection.
  1. The parmesan cheese should be stored on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator as it is the coldest part of the refrigerator and has its temperature between 38 °F to 40 °F.
  1. You should always store your parmesan cheese at 40°F or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore it is always advised to store parmesan cheese at a lower temperature to preserve its freshness and quality for a long time.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “why doesn’t parmesan cheese melt” with an in-depth analysis of the reason why parmesan cheese does not melt. Moreover, we discussed the tips to preserve the quality of parmesan cheese for a long time.

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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