giovedì 14 febbraio 2008

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Parmigiano cheese has been around since the Middle Ages, and has always been very similar to the way we know it today. The name Parmigiano-Reggiano comes from its origin in the province of Reggio Emilia, in Bibbiano. In English, it is known as Parmesan cheese. Since the word “parmesan” is a protected designation of origin in Europe, the American brands that use the name “Parmesan” must use a different name to market their products in Europe.

Parmigiano cheese is typically aged anywhere from twelve to twenty-four months. Cheese that has been aged longer is typically considered higher quality. The cheese from a parmigiano cheese wheel is harder the further from the center of the wheel it is. This hard cheese near the crust is best for grating, and has the best flavor and aroma.


Parmigiano cheese is a key ingredient in alfredo sauce and pesto. It may be grated or thinly sliced and added to soup or risotto, or grated over pasta or salads. It is also eaten in chunks with balsamic vinegar, or served with red wines. It makes an excellent companion to fruits such as apples, pears and melon. When grated, it is also a fine addition to many breads and a zest of flavor to pizza or mashed potatoes, and is frequently used as an extra flavor for chicken dishes.

Typically, Americans think of the pre-grated and packaged variety of parmigiano cheese marketed as “Parmesan” cheese. Most have not experienced the rich flavor of freshly grated parmigiano and truly taken advantage of the wonderful rich taste that can enhance their classic Italian recipes. Learn how to cook with fresh parmigiano cheese in the many recipes you’ll get when you purchase The Italian Kitchen from this website or from, coming soon!

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