Parmigiano Reggiano DOP
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Known in Italy as the ‘king of cheeses’, Parmigiano-Reggiano DOP is a hard cheese, cooked, not pressed and completely natural: without additives or preservatives.
It is characterized by its high digestibility, its high calcium content and the richness of micro and macro minerals, as well as its pleasantness and the varied and complex organoleptic profile.
It is made exclusively in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the left of the Reno river, and Mantua to the right of the Po river with milk of locally grown forage fed cattle. Parmigiano Reggiano is naturally free from lactose within the first 48 hours from production since during the process lactose is turned into lactic acid by lactic bacteria.
Facts About the Cheese
The colour of Parmigiano Reggiano can range from light straw yellow to intense straw yellow, with a uniform or non uniform appearance. Maturation makes the colour more intense.
Fragrant aroma and complex smell which increase in intensity with aging.
Sweet, usually more pronounced in not very matured products; salty, which increases with ageing; a weak bitter note; balanced spicy trigeminal sensation which increases with the maturation of the cheese.
Excellent with fresh fruit, walnuts and honey; pairs well with Prosecco, Rosso Salento, and Toscana IGT wine.
Aromatic sensations varies based on the different degrees of maturation of the cheese:
- 12- 18 months – Parmigiano Reggiano with 12-18 months of maturation has a harmonious and delicate flavour with scents of milk, yoghurt and fresh fruit. It is particularly suitable for aperitifs paired with sparkling white wines, or to enrich salads and cold dishes.
- 22-24 months – Parmigiano Reggiano with 22-24 months of maturation is soluble, crumbly and grainy with the right balance between mildness and tastiness, with notes of fresh fruit, nuts and meat stock. Perfect with medium body wines and to add flavour to all the dishes of the Italian tradition.
- 30-36 months – Parmigiano Reggiano with 30-36 months of maturation is particularly crumbly and grainy. The flavour is pronounced with notes of spices, nuts and meat stock. It is an ideal ingredient for filled and baked pastas or to be tasted at the end of meals, paired with fruit and honey.
- More than 40 months – Parmigiano Reggiano with 40 months has passed the test of time and releases pleasant scents of spices. It is an exclusive gift and a pleasant companion to be tasted with structured and meditation wines.
Pair Me With
Parmigiano Reggiano features aromas and flavours that are different depending on the maturation, which makes it particularly versatile and suitable for several pairings ranging from fresh fruit to full-bodied wines, as well as beers and jams.
Parmigiano Reggiano with a maturation of 12-18 months is ideal as an aperitif paired with raw vegetables like celery and cherry tomatoes and with sparkling or medium-bodied still white wines and low-alcohol cocktails
Parmigiano Reggiano with a maturation of 24 months pairs perfectly with the majority of pasta and rice courses, soups and vegetable creams. Also the rind, once thoroughly cleaned, can be added to vegetable soups or creams to enrich their flavour.
Parmigiano Reggiano with a maturation between 24 and 30 months is excellent in the preparation of main courses and more structured red wines.
About 3,700,000 wheels, each weighing on average 40 kg, are produced in the production area of Parmigiano Reggiano every year. Vat:
The traditional copper container shaped like an upturned bell where Parmigiano Reggiano is produced every day. Each vat contains about 1100 litres of milk, which produce 2 wheels (550 litres of milk per wheel).
About the Consortium
With a history of nearly a century, Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano is responsible for the defence and protection of the Designation of Origin, as well as the facilitation of trade and consumption by promoting every initiative aimed at safeguarding the typicality and unique features of the product. One of the most important measures adopted by the Consortium with the aim of protecting the product sales was the introduction of the mark of origin of the dotted inscription (1964) “Parmigiano-Reggiano" encircling the wheels, thereby conferring to the cheese its current external appearance.
Main content, image, and video by the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano.
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Written by Taste - True Italian Taste Project