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How do you cook a hard cheese to dry it out without melting it in a home kitchen? Which cheese is suited to this purpose?

Is there a way to achieve a crunchy texture with a cheese by cooking it, or a certain technique to drying it out?

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    Hi, I am a bit confused as to what you are imagining. Can you tell us which food you have in mind? Do you mean something like the pieces of dried cheese you sometimes get on pizza, or something like cheese-tasting chips, or something else?
    – rumtscho
    Jul 1, 2021 at 9:51

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I don't see how you can make cheese crispy without first melting. You can, however, easily make a cheese tuile from a hard cheese, like parmesan. The cheese is grated, then baked, where it melts. It is removed from the oven and crisps as it cools.

Here is an example with a description of the process, and a picture of the result. There are plenty of others, just google "cheese tuile."

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you would need to use a grill or a broiler to crisp up the cheese (look up "gratin" )

Some cheese are better at it than other.

Parmesan or cheddar can be use to make parmesan or cheddar chips.

be careful, there's a fine line between crunchy and burnt.

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This looks to me like 2 (and a bit) questions: one on drying, and one on making it crispy. But they do overlap.

You can apparently - I've never tried it - dehydrate cheese in a food dehydrator; I don't know what texture you'd get, but I would guess not crunchy. I have bought dried grated pseudo-parmesan (good for camping). Because it's grated it's hard to tell the texture, but I doubt bigger pieces would go crunchy This rather long post does imply crunchiness is possible.

In summary they suggest drying it cool and slowly. If you're starting with a hard cheese made from pasteurised milk, it can be stored at room temperature anyway - max 30°C, which is often the lowest temperature on a food dehydrator. Much warmer and it goes oily (cheddar, in my experience).

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    Hmm… tough choice on which I'd go for there - the powdered feet, or the British Rail sandwich ;))
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 1, 2021 at 8:33
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    @Tetsujin yes, though the Napolina dried cheese is OK stirred into pasta sauce if you're hungry. I have a dehydrator and like cheese, but I'm not very tempted
    – Chris H
    Jul 1, 2021 at 8:38
  • Have yet to try it with my nutcheeses: Tribest Sedona Express only one I found with 77f setting
    – Pat Sommer
    Jul 7, 2021 at 21:22
  • @PatSommer I'm not sure about storage conditions for nut cheeses; that article was about dairy cheese and specific types at that
    – Chris H
    Jul 7, 2021 at 21:25
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    comment was only to note a low temp dehydrator. (but some nutcheese rinds surprisingly similar to dairy counterparts ie camembert)
    – Pat Sommer
    Jul 8, 2021 at 23:41

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