Flavor Fusion: Exploring Parmesan’s Blue Cheese Resemblance!

Cheese Twist: Unraveling the Parmesan-Blue Cheese Mystery!

Parmesan may taste like blue cheese due to mold contamination, often from not being refrigerated after opening. Mold growth, especially in shredded Parmesan, can give it a blue cheese flavor. Parmesan’s low sodium content may also contribute to quicker mold development. If Parmesan tastes like blue cheese, it’s likely moldy and should be discarded for health reasons.     

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 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 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 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?

Navigating the World of Cheese Aromas

When it comes to cheese, the aromas can be as diverse as the flavors.

Two types often discussed are Romano cheese and Blue cheese, each with its unique scent profile.

Understanding the “Romano cheese smell” is crucial for cheese enthusiasts.

This beloved Italian cheese emits a bold, pungent aroma that is a hallmark of its aging process and sheep’s milk origin.

It’s an acquired scent that promises a rich, sharp taste, making it a favorite in many culinary creations.

On the other hand, many are curious about why “string cheese tastes like mold.”

This usually indicates that the cheese has surpassed its best-by date or hasn’t been stored properly.

String cheese should typically have a mild and creamy aroma, not a moldy one.

If it does taste like mold, it’s best to discard it to avoid any potential health risks.

The phrase “blue cheese smells like” often conjures images of a potent, earthy scent.

Blue cheese is renowned for its strong, distinctive smell, a direct result of the Penicillium mold used in its production.

This aroma can range from mildly pungent to strikingly sharp.

While some are put off by its robust fragrance, others find it enticing, a prelude to its rich, tangy flavor.

Understanding these scent profiles helps in appreciating the diverse world of cheese, from the bold Romano to the distinctive Blue cheese.

An abstract painting representing the bold flavors of Parmesan and Blue Cheese

My Final Thoughts

  • Parmesan can develop a blue cheese taste due to mold spores, especially if it’s been opened and not refrigerated. This is akin to leaving bread out, which can lead to mold growth.
  • Shredded Parmesan has a higher risk of developing mold compared to a solid block, similar to how that cut fruit spoils faster than whole fruit.
  • Parmesan’s low sodium content contributes to its susceptibility to mold, much like low-salt diets can sometimes lead to faster food spoilage.
  • Mold can develop on Parmesan during the cheesemaking process, but it’s usually wiped away. This is similar to how apples might have harmless blemishes that are cleaned before consumption.
  • If Parmesan tastes like blue cheese, it’s likely moldy and should be discarded, just as you would throw away moldy fruits or vegetables.

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 need to throw it away!   

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

What will you do now to ensure your Parmesan stays fresh and mold-free?

How does the potential for Parmesan cheese to develop a taste similar to blue cheese due to mold influence your considerations for cheese storage?

Let us know in the comments below!

🧀 Health Impacts of Mold in Cheese 🚫

Edible MoldsUsed in blue cheese, brie, and camembert. Safe to eat and part of the cheese’s character.
Harmful MoldsFound on spoiled or improperly stored cheese. Can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
Brought to You by choosingcheese.com

FAQ Section for “Why Does Parmesan Taste Like Blue Cheese?”

Q: Can Parmesan naturally taste like blue cheese?
A: No, Parmesan naturally does not taste like blue cheese. If Parmesan has a blue cheese flavor, it’s likely due to mold contamination.

Q: Is it safe to eat Parmesan that tastes like blue cheese?
A: It’s not recommended. Parmesan tasting like blue cheese is a sign of mold, and consuming moldy cheese can be harmful.

Q: How can I prevent Parmesan from tasting like blue cheese?
A: Store Parmesan properly in the refrigerator and keep it wrapped in parchment paper or a cheese bag. Avoid cross-contamination with other cheeses.

Q: Does the age of Parmesan affect its tendency to taste like blue cheese?
A: Older Parmesan has a higher risk of developing mold, especially if not stored correctly, which can lead to a blue cheese taste.

Q: What should I do if my Parmesan cheese starts tasting like blue cheese?
A: Discard the moldy parts or the whole cheese if the mold has spread. Eating moldy Parmesan is not advisable for health reasons.

Q: Can shredded Parmesan also develop a blue cheese flavor?
A: Yes, shredded Parmesan is more susceptible to mold and can develop a blue cheese flavor if not stored properly or used quickly.

Q: Are there any health risks associated with eating Parmesan that tastes like blue cheese?
A: Consuming moldy cheese can lead to foodborne illnesses. If Parmesan tastes like blue cheese due to mold, it’s best to avoid eating it.

A classic still life of a cheese platter with Parmesan and Blue Cheese

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