Parmigiano Reggiano is one of the world’s best-known cheeses and is often slangily classified as ‘The King of Cheeses’ (with no disrespect to its lesser-known cousins, of course). Joking aside, what are actually the characteristics that make it so unique?
Certainly a mix of factors that converge in the production of Parmigiano Reggiano, its history, nutritional values, etc.
In this new article, we at Caseificio Bio Reggiani list them for you one by one!
What makes Parmigiano Reggiano unique
The Geographical Zone: Parmigiano Reggiano is produced in only one specific area in the world, covering the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and Bologna. In this area, thanks to the wide expanses that allow for grazing and the characteristics of the soil that make both the fodder and the hay eaten by the cows unique, Parmigiano Reggiano has the taste we know and would not be the same if imitated in other areas.
A History spanning centuries: Benedictine and Cistercian monks in the early Middle Ages (around the year 1000) began producing Parmigiano Reggiano or what can be defined as a proto-Parmigiano (because they were looking for a cheese that would keep well, for a long time). Since then this tradition has been handed down for generations, refining the techniques and improving the yield, but we will talk about this in more detail in a separate article… suffice it to say that what you eat today is the fruit of the experience of 9 centuries of history!
VERY STRICT protocols! The feed for Parmigiano Reggiano cows must pass very strict control protocols and comply with naturalness values (if the cows are fed non-natural and poor quality feed, this inevitably affects the quality of the cheese). The same applies to the PDO mark, which certifies a wheel as Parmigiano Reggiano or as simple ‘Rigato’ (this is the name given to wheels that do not pass inspection but can still be sold and consumed). After the first 12 months of maturing, the expert recognised by the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium carries out spot checks in the cheese factories, both by visual inspection and by the so-called ‘beating’ (the typical hammer procedure). A wrong sound of the hammer or a slight imperfection on the rind can be enough to ‘fail’ a wheel.
NATURAL PROCESSES! the production of Parmigiano Reggiano is one of the most natural in the world of cheeses. No external actions are ever carried out that alter the presence of bacteria in raw milk, nor are additives or preservatives ever added!
Outstanding nutritional values: Parmigiano Reggiano is the cheese with the lowest fat and lactose content in existence. The longer the maturing process goes on, the lower these values become. But as you well know, the taste never fails!
Now do you understand why this cheese is so unique? If you had any doubts, now you have no more excuses!
We bring Parmesan cheese to you, at home!