Parmigiano Reggiano is a hard Italian cheese made from skimmed, unpasteurized cow’s milk.
The production of milk, it's processing into cheese, minimum maturation and packaging take place exclusively in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the left of the river Reno and Mantua to the right of the river Po.
It is the only cheese with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) which has a minimum maturation period of 12 months.
Only raw milk produced in the area of origin is used to produce Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. It is special milk, with a unique and intense bacterial activity by the autochthonous microbial flora, and influenced by environmental factors, especially the local forage, grass and hay that constitute the main feed of our cows. Furthermore, no additives are used to make Parmigiano Reggiano: during the production process, there is no external intervention (for example, adding enzymes or bacteria selected in the lab) to modify bacterial activity. Only the cheese master during processing, thanks to the cheese-making technique, can enhance and favour the lactic bacteria that operate the positive lactic fermentations that are expected for the success of the cheese-making process. This is why for over a thousand years Parmigiano Reggiano has only been produced in this area.
The production process of this delectable crumbly cheese has no external intervention as it is closely linked to the microbiological characteristic of the region it is produced in. It is a lactose-free, 100% natural cheese which contains 30% water and 70% nourishing substances. It is produced year-round, and its nuances reflect seasonal variety, ranging from sweet and grassy, to nutty and earthy. Its colour ranges from pale white-yellow to a deeper golden-dried wheat hue depending on how long it has been aged.
The ideal temperature for tasting Parmigiano Reggiano is between 16° and 17°C. If the cheese is in the refrigerator, it is necessary to take it out at least 1 hour in advance and open the vacuum pack at least 30 minutes before tasting it.
It has its specific marks and seals of identification which tell the consumer of its origin, age and authenticity, as it is one of the most imitated cheeses in the world.
The MARKS OF ORIGIN engraved during the first hours of the life of the wheels using the stencilling band all around the cheese rind. The information provided is:
dotted wording Parmigiano Reggiano
PDO and Consortium inscriptions
dairy identification number (in 3 different positions)
month and year of production (in 3 different positions)
identification mark (health requirement identifying the production plant)
A CASEIN PLATE is applied on one of the two flat surfaces of the wheel during its very first hours of life which bears a unique and progressive alphanumeric traceability code which allows one to trace the day when the wheel was born and in what dairy.
Look for the tell-tale “Parmigiano Reggiano” fire-branding on your cheese to make sure you’re buying the authentic cheese.
Buy Parmigiano Reggiano: https://lnkd.in/e-uNbNA
Credits: Parmigiano Reggiano