10 Things You Didn't Know About Parmesan

1. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, known as ‘Parmesan’, is one of the world’s oldest and richest cheeses - still produced today as it was nine centuries ago.

2. Totally natural - it’s the only cheese that has such an extensive maturation which improves the nutrition, aroma and taste.

3. The use of raw milk and the richness of natural ingredients make this cheese a unique and superior product.

4. It takes 15 litres of milk to produce one kilogram of Parmesan cheese!

5. The minimum maturation time for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is 12 months, but only when it reaches approximately 24 months of age, is it at its best.

6. As well as having fantastic nutritional qualities, it’s easy to digest and is high in calcium.

7. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) product. PDOs are defined and protected by European Union law in order to defend the reputation of regional foods. This mark ensures that Parmigiano Reggiano cheese can only be produced in designated areas of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the west of the Reno River and Mantua to the east of the Po River. The area, the natural feed, and the high quality milk with no additives are what makes Parmigiano Reggiano rich, delicious and unique.

8. The history of this King of Cheeses dates back to at least 1200AD and today, Parmigiano Reggiano is still handmade by small artisan dairies with the same care and dedication that was shown 800 years ago.

9. On average, a wheel of Parmesan weighs 40kg.

10. There are currently 373 Parmigiano Reggiano production dairies.

Taste through the Ages

18 Month

Parmigiano Reggiano aged 18 months is soft yet crumbly, and tastes milky, mild, with hints of fresh grass, steamed vegetables and even flowers or fresh fruit. It’s both sweet and acidic (like yoghurt, mozzarella or fresh milk cheeses). It makes a great aperitif with dry, white wine and fresh fruit.

24 Month

Parmigiano Reggiano aged 24 months is crumblier and easily digested; the cheese crust holds an aroma of melted butter, bananas, pineapples, dry fruit and nutmeg. It’s sweet with a slight bite and good with red wine, pears, apples, grapefruit and oranges, dried figs and prunes and nuts and good Balsamic vinegar.

36 Month

Parmigiano Reggiano aged 36 months or more is considered an old cheese. It’s drier and very crumbly, almost sandy in texture. It’s strong and tangy, smelling of spices and dried fruits. This unique cheese goes well with complex red and sweet wines and honey Balsamic from Modena or Reggio Emilia.

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