Parmesan

Parmesan, more properly called Parmigiano-Reggiano,  is a typical product of Made in Italy. Parmesan has been loved for over nine centuries for its excellent quality and incredible flavor.

Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano is a DPO, Protected Designation of Origin, based in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and parts of the provinces of Mantua and Bologna, where forage is grown, milk is produced and processed into cheese, maturation and packaging take place.

3.5 liters of milk are used to produce 1 Kg of cheese, nor silage (the use of fermented forage to feed cattle) or additives and preservatives (even natural) are allowed to produce the “King of the cheese” and every wheel must have 12 months of minimum maturation (the average is 24 and can have even 30 months).

The wheels weigh at least 30 kg and have 35-45 diametre: the wheel is hard, thick, smooth, straw-colored. Parmesan is a light straw-colored hard granular cheese with a long and natural maturation. The holes are very fine, almost imperceptible, distributed evenly, while the white tyrosine crystals are visible and perceptible, even in the mouth.

Extraordinary, highly digestible, totally natural: Parmesan is the King of Cheese.

Parmesan cheese is an important ingredient in special diets and for any age. Pediatricians suggest adding Parmesan in baby foods, while
during the following years of growth, calcium, phosphorus, and other vitamins and minerals offer excellent nutrition for the growing body and sportsmen.

Parmesan is naturally lactose-free. The absence of lactose is a natural consequence of the typical production process: it contains galactose in quantities less than 0.01g / 100g.

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Parmesan: recognize the true wheel matured

ParmesanYou can easily recognize a true parmesan – Parmigiano Reggiano because you will find a stenciling band, placed entirely around the wheel, which has pre-punched dots bearing the inscription

  • PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO wording
  • Acronym DOP
  • Inscription CONSORZIO TUTELA
  • Identification number of dairy
  • Production month and year

If you have any doubts please consider that you can check the number of identification of dairy or the wheel code directly on the Consortium website.

Parmesan has been guaranteed for over seventy years by the Consortium Parmigiano Reggiano who is hardly working to offer transparency, controlled quality, an educational campaign to consumer, stores, and chefs.

 

 

 

Parmesan: 22-18-30 months matured

Based on the maturing, the package will bear one of the three colored labels: lobster (over 18 months), silver (over 22 months), and gold (over 30 months)

30months-parmesan The red-colored stamp characterizes Parmigiano Reggiano with over 18 months of seasoning. It has a pronounced lactic base, with vegetal notes such as grass, flowers and fruit, which make it ideal for snacks and aperitifs.
A silver sticker identifies the cheese with a maturing of over 22 months, with accentuated aromas, like fresh fruit and citrus fruits, next to which appear hints of dried fruit.
30 months matured Parmesan Finally, a gold stamp makes the product recognizable with over 30 months of maturing, the most decisive in flavor and complex in aromas, with nutritive elements, which have been concentrated precisely in the long maturation.
   

 

 

Parmesan: the history

parmesan historyThe origins of Parmesan are proved by Benedictine documents kept in the abbeys of San Colombano, in Bobbio (Piacenza), of Pomposa, in Codigoro (Ferrara), of S. Silvestro di Nonantola (Modena), of S. Benedetto in Polirone (Mantova) which date back to the 12th century.

The production of this cheese was made possible thanks to the availability of salt from the salt pans of Salsomaggiore, which strongly characterized the territories of origin and their agriculture.

In that area, the presence of watercourses and wide pastures was flourishing and favored the breeding and the consequent production of cheese. Already in 1200 Boccaccio, in the Decameron, cited it: “Sausages … there was a whole mountain of grated Parmesan cheese, above which people who did nothing but make macaroni and ravioli, and cook them in capon broth …”

One of the first testimonies on the marketing of Parmesan dates back to a notarial deed drawn up in Genoa in 1254, which mentions the “caseus parmensis” (Parma cheese). In a short time, the Parmesan began to expand in Romagna, Piedmont, and Tuscany, reaching the maritime centers of the Mediterranean sea.

In the seventeenth century, the Duke of Parma Ranuccio I Farnese began to increase the production of Parmesan, favoring the pastures and building large vaccherie. It was Duke himself who formalized the denomination of origin with an act dated 7 August 1612 to protect the product commercially. The cheese had in fact begun to expand quickly, up to Germany, in Flanders, in France, and in Spain.
At the beginning of the XIX century, Napoleon canceled the great ecclesiastical possessions and the lands were bought by the bourgeoisie. Dairies acquire the typical octagonal shape and remain active for 120-180 days a year when cows have the possibility of exploiting the grass.

Parmesan-art-vincenzo-campiAt the beginning of the 1900s, some important introductions to the production process take place, such as the use of grafting whey and steam heating, which improve the quality of the cheese and which are still current. Activities slowed down only in the 1940s, during the Second World War.

However, the recovery started in the 1950s, also thanks to important legislative goals in the food sector: the Italian law on designations of origin, the production standard, and the regulation for feeding cows. Subsequently, with the emergence of the European Community and the Common Agricultural Policy, the principle of recognition and protection of products of origin is no longer affirmed on a national scale, but on the Community level. In 1996 Parmigiano Reggiano is recognized as a European DOP.

 

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