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  • Made from unpasteurized cow's milk

  • Country of origin: Italy

  • Region: Provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna , Mantua

  • Family: Parmesan

  • Type: hard, artisan

  • Texture: dense and grainy

  • Rind: natural

  • Colour: straw

  • Flavour: salty, savory

  • Aroma: nutty, strong

  • Vegetarian: no

  • Synonyms: Parmigiano Reggiano, Parmesan Regiano, Parmesan Reggiano, Parmesan Parmigiano

Parmesan cheese is a renowned Italian cheese, often called Parmigiano-Reggiano (its authentic Italian name). The most famous production region is the Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy areas, especially Parma, Reggio Emilia, and Modena. It is protected by a PDO status, ensuring its quality and origin. There are also similar cheeses, such as Parmesan-style or Grana Padano, which are less expensive alternatives.

Parmesan cheese is made from cow's milk and follows a strict, traditional production process. Authentic Parmesan cheese has a hard, inedible rind with the cheese's name and stamp imprinted on it. This rind is often removed before using the cheese. The cheese is known for its savoury taste and robust, salty, and nutty flavour. It has a hard and granular texture, which is a result of its ageing process. It is aged for an extended period, typically around 18 months to 36 months, and can even be aged for several years. As it matures, its flavour becomes more intense and complex, and its texture drier and grainier.

The cheese is often grated and sprinkled on pasta dishes, salads, and other Italian and Mediterranean dishes. It's a key ingredient in dishes like spaghetti carbonara and risotto.

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