When I was a child I thought ‘Parmesan cheese’ was something that came out of a tube as a dried powder. Later in life I would discover the authentic product and swore off the powder.
Until I made it myself.
I recently dehydrated some Parmesan cheese and turned it into powder to see what would happen. The results? Surprisingly fantastic. When you dehydrate something you remove water content and are left with the concentrated flavors. In this case the flavors that remain are salty, savory and deeply cheesy. It resembles the product from the tubes except the flavor is far more intense.
More than 80% of the weight was lost in the drying process. 120 grams of Parmesan was less than 20 grams of dried Parmesan (just more than a half cup). Although the jar looks very modest, the flavors are so intense that a small amount goes a long way (and longer than the commercial product we used to buy). We’ve used it with pasta, soup and sauces.
Homemade Dried Parmesan Cheese – Instructions
The process was simple. I shaved pieces of cheese (with a vegetable peeler) and placed them in the dehydrator at 125 degrees. The strips of cheese were better than grating the cheese as this prevented them from blowing all over. I’ve learned this the hard way in the past.
The final product was completely dry within 8 hours but I continued for 4 additional hours. To create the powder I froze the cheese morsels for 10 minutes (this makes them brittle) before blitzing them in a spice grinder.
The cheese should last for a long time in the fridge. I would absolutely make this again (and will).