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You will not believe the amount of flavor that cheese rinds have, especially when added to soups and stews!
We go through a healthy amount of Parmesan cheese in our house, especially since we buy it in bulk and grind it ourselves. We used to just throw the rind away. NOT ANYMORE!! It turns out that they are magic flavor bombs. Chefs and Italian grandmothers have been using cheese rinds for centuries to flavor soups and sauces. Who knew?!?…
The rind does not make the dish taste cheesy, but rather it adds a rich and savory character to a dish. It would be redundant to use the rind if you are already using meat or bacon fat or the like in your soup, but for vegetable-based dishes, it really adds a nice touch. When your soup or sauce is ready to simmer, throw in an old cheese rind. The rind will soften and the flavors of the cheese will infuse throughout the dish. If the rind hasn’t completely dissolved by the time you’re ready to serve, you can either remove the remaining rind altogether or use your spoon to break it into small, chewy pieces.
The average chunk that goes in my pots is probably less than an inch high by maybe 3 inches long. It doesn’t really matter how much you use. Even a little will help, and there’s no such thing as too much. If you’re not ready to use a rind right away, it can be stored indefinitely in the freezer. We keep a bag in the freezer that we add to or take from as needed.