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The Leftover Ingredient Restaurant Chefs Swear By For Flavorful Sauces
By Betsy Parks
Aged Parmesan is known as "the King of Cheeses" (per Forbes) and is great for cooking because it has a low moisture content and a rich, full flavor, so it's a fast way to add cheesiness to anything. Professional chefs are big fans of stockpiling their parmesan rinds after all the usable cheese is grated away and using them to make stocks, soups, and sauces that are next level.
People used to routinely toss parmesan rinds in the trash after they scraped away all the softer cheese, but thankfully chefs and cooks have evolved and learned to save the rinds. There are lots of great flavors left in the hard, waxy heels — just add them to hot water like you’d add bones to stock to extract flavor.
If you want to get some out-of-this-world flavor into your sauces and soups, try adding a few parmesan rinds when you're making a homemade stock that you'd use for a recipe base. They add a rich savory quality because they are packed with umami-rich glutamates, which are the same molecules that make soy sauce, kelp, and mushrooms taste rich and earthy.