White Spots On Parmesan Cheese – Can You Still Eat It?

What are the white spots on parmesan cheese? The white spots on parmesan cheese might be a sign of mold, but they could also be calcium or tyrosine lactate crystals that give off the aroma and flavor of some aged cheeses. If they’re inside the cheese, they’re likely crystals. If they’re just visible on the outside, and the cheese is not tasting good, it could be due to mold.

If you spot a small white speck over your meals, it’s normal to think mold has destroyed your food.

If you’ve got some parmesan stored in your refrigerator for your next perfect dish, you shouldn’t be concerned if you take it out of the wrapper and find white spots on the parmesan cheese.

Knowing the distinction between crystals and mold could help you get through the day or, at the very least, your dinner.

This article will help you discover cheese crystals and how to distinguish them from white mold and when you can salvage parmesan instead of throwing it away.

Parmesan Vs Parmigiano Reggiano

Suppose you notice streaks of white on the parmesan. In that case, the first thing to determine is whether you are dealing with imitation parmesan which is the more popular kind of parmesan found across North America, or if you’re using genuine Parmigiano Reggiano.

Parmesan is the imitation that is Parmigiano Reggiano. Real Parmigiano Reggiano must follow strict rules regulations, guidelines, and rules to be worthy of the name.

Here are some of the important factors that you should consider:

  • It has to be manufactured in Italy
  • It could consist of just three ingredients: salt, milk, and animal Rennet
  • It has to be aged a minimum of 12 months.
  • It has to be approved by the regulatory board.
  • If your parmesan is in an open-top container, it’s a fake.

Even if it’s in a triangular block of white, hard cheese that is from the department of delis at your local grocery store, there’s an increased than average chance that it’s “parmesan,” not true Parmigiano Reggiano.

The flavor of authentic versus imitation parmesan is quite different when tasted in a pair, however, due to the difference in price and the market oversupply of imitation parmesan most people have not tried the authentic cheese.

The reason it’s important to determine if you’re using the genuine Italian soft cheese, or a fake is because white spots could refer to completely different things according to the type of cheese you’re using.

One method to determine the difference is to test the parmesan in a microwave or even a small portion and see if the parmesan cheese is easy to melt. If the cheese has a tough melting process, splits from the rest, burns, or turns stringy, it’s probably imitation parmesan.

Parmesan Cheese Mold

If you’re using the more typical imitation parmesan, There is a greater chance that those white spots that appear on the cheese could be not something fantastic but rather mold that we’ll talk about in a moment.

A large portion of the cheeses America refers to as “parmesan” contain additives, flavors, preservatives, and many other ingredients, and some even cheeses.

They could either prolong the shelf life of your cheese or reduce it in comparison to authentic Parmigiano Reggiano.

The Mold In The Grated Parmesan Cheese

It is possible that you have not thought of the possibility it is the case that parmesan cheese spoils since it’s a cheese that is hard and has an extended shelf life, as, with any dairy item, it has its limitations.

Whether you have bought pre-grated parmesan cheese or you have grated the parmesan cheese with a grater, regardless of whether it’s authentic or fake is more prone to develop mold than a block of cheese. This is because of the area of the cheese exposed to the elements and humidity, and thus the presence of bacteria.

If cheese begins to mold and becomes brittle, the cheese is likely to change color but it may appear with white mold with no blue. The white mold is difficult to detect on freshly grated cheese, and it’s more likely that you’ll taste it unintentionally than observe it.

The presence of areas of color that appear blue can be indicators that there is mold.
It’s also important to be aware that, in the event, your cheese develops small amounts of mold, it’s much simpler to cut off the affected portion of a chunk of cheese than to separate every single piece of the cheese.

Investing in the purchase of a zester and an entire block of Parmigiano Reggiano will not just be able to delight your taste buds however, it could save you money in the long run, by decreasing waste, especially when you don’t frequent use of it.

Cheese Crystals

Many foods that have white spots are bad. They could prove to be an excellent sign to consider your culinary pursuits. For instance, sweet potatoes can contain white bubbling or spots when they’re particularly sweet.

If you are prone to think that white spots on cheeses are a sign of mold, aged and authentic Parmigiano Reggiano could form crystals, not mold. This could be an extremely good thing.

In certain types of cheese age, the protein disintegrates in a way that causes irregularities in texture and taste. There might be a hint of crunch and the flavor might be more savory or sweet.

There are two kinds of cheese crystals that may be found in aged cheese, but they will not form when imitation cheese is used: Tyrosine crystals, and/or calcium lactate.

Tyrosine Crystals On Cheese

Tyrosine is an amino acid that takes on crystal form when it is accumulated in the process of aging certain cheeses.

This kind of white crystal is found within the cheese block. However, it is visible from the outside. They typically form where there are eyes or small air pockets. They are extremely hard and hard.

They provide more texture than flavor, but they tend to be a part of only the cheeses with the best flavor They are also known as salt crystals or flavor.

Calcium Lactate In Cheese

This kind of crystal can be found within the cheese, or even on its outside. It’s a more soft crystal, and less translucent, which blends more with the cheese.

Calcium lactate crystals develop as the lactose found in cheese is degraded by the process of aging. Lactic acids are created that bind calcium ions and form calcium lactate.

Crystals of the calcium lactate are more likely to form when the cheese is exposed to moisture generally on the outside that the cheese is made. It is a more white powder instead of distinctive white spots.

Calcium lactate crystals do not alter the flavor of the cheese, however, they’re usually an indication of an aged parmesan block that will be a full-bodied flavor.

Cheese Crystals or mold?

What can you tell whether those white marks on cheeses are crystals or mold? Your first clue lies in the cheese’s quality.

It is highly likely to contain crystals and it is very unlikely to grow mold due to it being a low moisture cheese.

The second indicator is whether these spots are on within the cheese or the outside layer. If they’re within the cheese they’re sure to form crystals. This can add a nice taste to the tasty parmesan.

If you’re unsure try a tiny tasting. If it’s not on the edges of the cheese, it might not be mold.

A tiny amount of mold shouldn’t harm you unless you’ve had an allergy to it however, it can allow your taste buds to determine if the growth is a great or bad thing to add to your cheese.

White Mold On Parmesan Cheese

If you’re certain you’re right that your cheese’s white spots are mold and the parmesan cheese has possibly gone bad, the next question is likely to be, “Is white mold on cheese risky? Do I throw it away or try to salvage what is left?”

First, check if your parmesan is a piece of cheese, a solid block, or grated? If it’s grated, it is best to dispose of the entire container or the package.

It’s almost impossible to eliminate the white mold from an assortment of cheese pieces, particularly if the cheese is the same color as the mold.

The presence of mold in cheese could encourage the development of harmful bacteria, including E. Salmonella and it’s better not to risk it.

If you’ve got a block of extremely hard parmesan that has some mold on its surface You can cut through the mold to salvage the remainder of the cheese.

There’s not much moisture in the hard cheese thus any growth of mold could be due to exposure to humidity outside and won’t be able to get far in the cheese.

Cut at least 1 inch of radius around the mold, and then save the remainder, then wrap it to stop any further moisture from damaging the cheese.


How Long Will Parmesan Aged?

Most parmesan cheese sold in the market isn’t genuine parmesan, and it isn’t governed by a certain amount of time it has to be aged in any way.

True Parmigiano Reggiano must be matured for at least 12 months to pass an inspection and obtain approval.

The time for aging beyond one year is at the discretion of the producer, and it can be carefully aged to enhance scent, texture, and flavor over several years.

Different cheese ages are better suited to different meals. Younger cheeses tend to be milkier and have brighter and fruity-like flavors. The older cheeses are more brittle and acquire an umami-like flavor that is stronger.

Is Parmesan Vegetarian?

Many vegetarians, although not all of them, consume cheese and cheese products frequently, however parmesan is not among the types of cheese that are available.

This is because parmesan isn’t made solely out of milk, but makes use of animal rennet to help make the cheese while it’s produced.

Animal Rennet is an enzyme in the lining of the stomach of calves that aids them in their ability to digest lactose. The same enzyme makes the milk used in producing cheese thicken and separate between curds as well as whey.

Some cheeses are not made from the rennet, however, parmesan does, unless declared or otherwise. It is possible to discover cheeses made from the plant Rennet.

Can Parmesan Rind Be Eaten?

Parmesan, particularly Parmigiano Reggiano, forms an extremely hard rind when it gets older, which helps protect the fresh cheese inside it.

Despite the distinct parmesan-like flavor, it is technically edible, but not many people would like to snack on this chewy, tough crust.

The most effective way to utilize the rind of your parmesan is to cook using it. Billing them for flavor in soups, sauces or grains, or even slow-cooked pasta is possible.

Make sure you remove any remaining rind before serving. You could also put the rind in olive oil to make parmesan-infused oil.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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