Parmigiano-Reggiano is exclusively produced in the province of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and other parts of the provinces of Modena and Bologna, among the lowlands, hills and mountains hemmed by the Po and Reno rivers: a big concentration the farms in which cattle is fed with grass products of the region. Good care of animal feeding is provided in order to comply with a rigid regulation that prohibits the use of silage and fermented nutriment. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese has been guaranteed for more that 70 years by the Consortium of Parmigiano-Reggiano and more importantly loved for more than nine centuries for its generous taste.
How it is produced
Parmigiano-Reggiano is obtained by evening-milking skimmed milk added to the morning milking whole milk. Poured into the typical overturned bell shaped boilers, the milk is enriched with natural curd and whey serum: this way coagulation takes place. The dairymaid then cuts the curd into tiny granules by the means of an ancient tool named “Spino”. After this operation is completed, another one starts: a slow cooking in up to 55 degrees Celsius, upon which the caseous granules precipitate at the bottom of the boiler creating a unified mass which will be extracted by the dairymaid and molded to obtain the cheese shapes. 600 liters of milk are required for each form.
Each form is given a casein plaque with a unique sequential number: it is the identification card of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
Recorded on the form are also the month and year of production, the serial number that distinguishes the dairyman and the unmistakable stencil-dots writing all around the surface of each wheel. After a few days the molds are immersed in a saturated solution of water and salt: salting is used to obtain osmosis.
This last step completes the production cycle of Parmigiano-Reggiano and initiates that of aging …a slow aging, an aging that flows with the rhythm of the seasons. Left to rest on wooden tables, the exterior part of the cheese dries creating a natural untreated crust, therefore perfectly edible. Aging is minimal, in fact between 12 and 18, 22 or 30 months.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is best conserved refrigerated at a compressed temperature between 4 and 8 celcius. It must not be freezed, even for a short time. To obtain the best aesthetic results, the cheese must be flung, or better reduced into irregular pieces, using a special knife. This is to show the granulose structure of the paste.
Delicious, easily digested and extremely rich from a nutritional point of view, Parmigiano-Reggiano never misses a chance to excellence. The unique taste of a product made without additives, the concentration of proteins, vitamins, calcium and mineral salts make it good at any age and every situation, a load of good quick Energy that anyone can use.