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It seems that the "cover" is harder than the other parts...

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It would be edible (for true Parmesano Reggiano, anyway), but it may not be very pleasant, as it is where most salt from the brining period will be, and it is dry and hard.

It is traditional to use pieces of it in soup to add flavor to the broth.

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If you save up a few, you can simmer them gently in water for a couple of hours to make a kind of 'cheese stock'. Lots of umami. – ElendilTheTall Nov 3 '13 at 18:19

Someone mentioned adding to soups and stocks...I also save them for that purpose. However, a family favorite, is to insert, with other aromatics, in the cavity of a chicken that will be roasted. Remove when carving and serve with the chicken. It will be soft and delicious.

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Mmmm...I have some Parmesan rinds in the freezer, I'm going to have to try that. – Jolenealaska Nov 4 '13 at 1:11

Absolutely edible, specifically goes well in hot dishes like soup.

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