When most people think about parmesan cheese, it’s already been cut open or ground into flakes that you can put over pasta or your meal of choice – but that isn’t how it started. If you’ve ever seen cheese wheels, which is how parmesan cheese looks often before it’s sold (maybe in the windows of delis, in cartoons or in photographs) you might have wondered exactly how that’s supposed to work. Do you just cut it in slices? Can someone take a chomp right out of the cheese wheel?
Well – no. The cheese wheel’s exterior is usually a very dense, rough shell – the rind of the parmesan cheese, and not only is it not tasty it’s hard to crack. That has to happen before anyone gets the parmesan cheese: it needs to be cut down the middle of the parmesan wheel.