Why Does Parmesan Taste Like Blue Cheese? (Solved!)

Have you ever noticed this and wondered why does parmesan taste like blue cheese?

After all, they are entirely different, as parmesan clearly doesn’t have any mold.

Is it something to do with the cheesemaking process?

Or later, once you have opened the cheese?

Does the blue cheese smell mean that the parmesan has gone off?

Will it affect the taste of the parmesan?

Let’s try and sniff out the truth about the subject!

If parmesan tastes like blue cheese, it typically means that it has developed mold spores. This is more likely to happen if the cheese has been opened but not refrigerated. And if the parmesan has been shredded, then more of its surface area will be exposed, leading to further opportunities for mold to develop. Parmesan has a low level of sodium, which may also account for the possibility of it becoming moldy. Sodium is known to inhibit the growth of mold. Surprisingly, parmesan can also develop mold during the cheesemaking process, but it is simply wiped away.     

Is It Bad If Parmesan Tastes Like Blue Cheese?

Have you ever noticed that sometimes parmesan tastes like blue cheese?

Of course, some might say that they both taste equally as bad as each other in the first place!

But, there are definitely times when parmesan develops a different odor, more like a blue cheese such as Stilton or Roquefort.

And the smell is closely entwined with your perception of how something tastes.

As you may know, blue cheese is purposely encouraged to grow mold, and that gives it its distinctive taste and smell.

But parmesan is entirely different, it’s a dry, aged cheese with no hint of mold.

So, why does it taste odd?

It’s probably because it has attracted bacterial or fungal mold.

This is especially true if you have opened the packet and then not put it back in the fridge.

If the parmesan is shredded and not in a solid block, it offers more opportunity for mold to develop.

Shredding the cheese exposes a bigger surface area and more places for the mold to appear.

Once the parmesan has started to go moldy, it will taste like blue cheese.

Unfortunately, you will need to throw it away. 

Parmesan can actually develop mold during the cheesemaking process.

This will be evident on the rind of the cheese.

However, it’s not a major concern at this stage, and the cheesemaker will simply wipe it away.

So, your parmesan may already have been moldy before it even gets to you!

Why Do Low Sodium Cheeses Go Moldy Quicker? 

If your parmesan tastes like blue cheese, it’s a fair indication it is moldy.

Even if there are no visible patches of mold.

Parmesan is a low-sodium cheese, and this could be a contributing factor in why it goes moldy relatively quickly.

Sodium actually inhibits the growth of mold.

So, the lack of sodium in parmesan could relate to how quickly it goes moldy and starts to taste like blue cheese.

When storing your parmesan, once opened, you can sprinkle a thin layer of salt over it.

This will help to discourage the formation of mold.

And because parmesan is a hard cheese, the salt won’t permeate through and change the flavor.

That is why softer cheeses such as feta are stored in a salt solution.

 Why Don’t You Get Sick When Eating Moldy Cheese?

Final Thoughts

If parmesan tastes like blue cheese, it is an indication that mold spores have infiltrated it.

This could be due to not refrigerating the cheese once it has been opened.

The parmesan is more likely to go moldy if it has been shredded.

This is because a greater surface area has been exposed.

Parmesan can develop mold during the cheesemaking process, but it is removed and should not affect the taste.

The fact that parmesan is a low-sodium cheese makes it more prone to developing mold.

Unfortunately, if your parmesan tastes like blue cheese, you really need to throw it away!   

But if that’s the case, why can you eat blue cheese mold?

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