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Questions about storing Parmesan and using a piece turned to stone

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Questions about storing Parmesan and using a piece turned to stone

n
nemo | | Oct 30, 2011 11:00 PM

I get a nice wedge of Parmesan, use half of it for the recipe I'm making, wrap in plastic and store in a covered container in the fridge. The next time I take it out (admittedly, maybe a month or two or, gulp, maybe more later), it's turned to stone. Literally. If you tap it with a metal spoon, it rings like granite. What can I do with it? I've tried using a microplane but only get powdered sugar type gratings, and it would take forever to go that route. I can't get a knife into it at all to break it up for the processor. I did try the throw-it-in-a-pot-of-soup method with a small piece but met with poor results. Any thoughts? Can I just keep reusing it in soup over and over, or will it turn into a Typhoid Mary blob? Cover in a tea towel and hit it with a hammer and use the shards in soup? Assuming it breaks into shards.

Second question. How best to store in the first place? Since I apparently don't use it that often, should I grate it when fresh and freeze? I get Reggiano and kick myself every time this happens (like three so far).

I'm getting ready to buy another piece tomorrow and could use some advice. Thank you!

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