Nine centuries of history, known and appreciated all over the world, among the most consumed cheeses by Italians: but are you sure you really know everything about Parmigiano Reggiano?
We reveal 5 curiosities to get to know it even better. Among Italian delicacies, Parmigiano Reggiano is certainly one of the best known and most appreciated in the world. It is also much loved abroad, so much so that more and more foreign companies are trying, in vain, to imitate it. Its delicate yet pungent flavour and crumbly consistency make it a unique, versatile product, suitable for any combination.
Here are the 5 curiosities that (maybe) you didn’t know
1 – Did you know that Parmigiano Reggiano is the most famous cheese in history?
We are talking about a real celebrity that has bewitched people from every era and culture! We are in the 17th century and the French playwright Molière on his deathbed asked for a ‘sliver’ of Parmigiano as his last wish.
It is said, then, that Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers, was a gourmet and used to cook macaroni with sauce sprinkled with Parmigiano Reggiano himself for his guests.
Even the great leader Napoleon was initiated by his wife Maria Luigia, Duchess of Parma, to the joys of this cheese. The story goes that he appreciated it very much and had his cook prepare a salad of green beans and Parmigiano.
And finally, it was also ‘loved’ by Casanova. The greatest seducer in history even paid homage to his conquests with Parmesan cheese and it seems that they appreciated it more than a bouquet of flowers!
2 – Would you ever have thought that he was compared to a very famous porn site?
It may sound strange, but in the summer of 2015, PornHub, one of the world’s leading sites for watching streaming porn videos, called itself, in a commercial, ‘like Parmigiano compared to other cheeses’, suggesting that it was the leader in its sector, which boasted many imitations. But the Consorzio del Parmigiano did not like the juxtaposition of the famous cheese with PornHub’s new premium service and demanded that the commercial be cancelled.
Ma al Consorzio del Parmigiano non è piaciuto l’accostamento del celebre formaggio al nuovo servizio premium di PornHub ed ha richiesto di cancellare la pubblicità.
3 – Have you ever wondered who produced the Parmesan you bought?
Hardly anyone asks this question. Many are not aware of the existence of the more than 350 artisan cheese factories and 3500 farmer-milk producers in the Parma and Reggio Emilia area. The master cheesemakers, today as in the past, continue to produce this cheese with the same ingredients as nine centuries ago, in the same places, with the same skilful ritual gestures, following the maturing process for a minimum of 12 months up to two years and more, checking each wheel, day after day. Discover our Bio products. If you are curious to know who produced the Parmigiano you are about to eat, just write here the serial number, located on the mark on the rind, to trace it back to the dairy that produced it, ours is 1002
4 – What are the differences between Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano?
The main difference depends on what the cows eat, but not only. They are both PDO cheeses, both hard cheeses, made with cow’s milk and animal rennet, very similar in shape, size and weight. Yet we are dealing with two different products.
– Nutrition. The taste of cheese depends mainly on the milk. What differs in the feeding of the cows is the feed: the Parmigiano specification calls for the use of green fodder, meadow hay and dry fodder, all from the production area. This is not the case for Grana Padano, because their ‘colleagues’ can eat whatever the farmer prefers, so silage fodder is also allowed.
– Processing. For Parmigiano, milk from the evening milking, which has rested until the morning and then skimmed, is used together with whole milk from the morning milking. For Grana, milk from both milkings, which has been skimmed, is allowed. Result: Grana is leaner than Parmigiano.
– Maturation. Minimum 12 months for Parmigiano, up to more than 40, but also up to 100 months. On the other hand, for Grana Padano we have a maturing period ranging from a minimum of 9 months to a maximum of 24.
– Production area. For Parmigiano Reggiano, the area is limited to the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia and Modena, along with parts of those of Bologna, just to the left of the Reno river, and Mantua, to the right of the Po. Grana cheese originates in a wider area than the Po Valley, i.e. in thirty provinces of Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Trentino.
5 – Those who are lactose intolerant can eat Parmigiano Reggiano
Many people ask this question and the answer is yes! Parmesan contains neither lactose nor galactose, so it is perfect for those who are intolerant.
The addition of lactic ferments to the milk, during the first stages of the production process, causes fermentation and, therefore, the disappearance of lactose and galactose. Parmesan has a lactose content of less than 0.01%: the percentage required by the Ministry of Health to be able to declare on the label that a dairy product is naturally lactose-free.
To all those who love our champion cheese, but live abroad, we remind you to be careful when buying Parmesan, as the Consortium’s claim says: Parmigiano Reggiano, the real one is only one.
Buy OUR Organic Parmesan Cheese.