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Parmesan cheese: The perfect ingredient for Italian dishes

Parmesan cheese is one of the world’s best known and most popular cheeses. This Italian cheese stands out from the rest with its distinctive taste and firm texture. It is most often grated or chopped and used to flavour a variety of dishes such as pasta, salads and soups.

Real Parmesan cheese, or Parmigiano-Reggiano, comes exclusively from specific Italian regions. The production of this cheese follows centuries-old traditions, which makes it particularly valuable. The cheese is made with milk, salt and rennet and is matured for at least 12 months.

Parmesan cheese is rich in nutrients, high in calcium and protein. It is therefore not only a tasty choice, but also a healthy one. Parmesan cheese offers a unique taste experience that can make any meal special.

 

The basics of Parmesan cheese

 

Origin and history

The history of Parmesan cheese dates back to the 1200s, when it was first made in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It takes its name from its original origins in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and Bologna. This version of ‘Italian cheese’ is made from the family of mezan (grana) cheeses, so named because of their original production methods. Parmesan cheese has since become a staple of international cuisine.

parmezán sajt
 

Production process

The production of Parmesan cheese is a carefully controlled process. The cheese is made from unpasteurised cow’s milk, which is milked in the morning and in the evening. Natural rennet is added to the milk and the mixture is slowly heated. Once the cheese mass has formed, it is cut into pieces and placed in a special mould. It is then rested in a salt bath to remove excess moisture and enrich its flavour. The production process strictly follows traditional methods and specifications.

 

Maturation and quality

The maturing of Parmesan cheese is key to the final flavour and texture. Maturing time is at least 12 months, but often 24-36 months for best quality. Longer ripening ensures that the cheese achieves the right firmness and rich, complex flavour. Quality Parmesan cheese is classified into three categories according to its maturity: fresco (fresh), vecchio (aged) and stravecchio (very aged). During the maturing process, the aeration, moisture and acidity of the cheese are carefully monitored to achieve the best quality.

 

Parmesan on its own in gastronomy

Parmesan cheese is one of the best-known and most widely used ingredients in Italian cuisine. Its distinctive, characteristic flavour and aroma can be found in almost every dish, especially Italian pasta.

 

Use

Parmesan is a very versatile cheese. It is mainly used in grated form, whether in pasta dishes, soups or salads. Italian dishes such as spaghetti carbonara get their creaminess and flavour from Parmesan cheese.

They are also served as a snack in decorative pieces. The discs, which are made from the rind of the cheese, offer a special gastronomic experience.

A parmezán sajt a gasztronómiában
 

Storage and service

Original Parmesan cheese should be stored in a cool, dry place. Make sure it is not exposed to direct sunlight. The rinds of the cheese discs help to preserve the freshness and characteristic flavour of the cheese.

When serving, the cheese should be served at room temperature to allow the flavours to fully develop. Italians often accompany Parmesan with wine to enhance the taste experience.

 

Interesting facts and tips

In Europe, only original Italian cheeses certified by Consorzio can bear the name Parmesan. This cheese is produced in the Emilia Romagna region, often on small farms. The production of the cheese is based on decades-old traditions.

This Italian cheese is rich in protein, fat and nutrients such as potassium and phosphorus. It is medium in calories, so dieters can eat it in moderation.

 

Cheeses and regulations

Parmesan is authentic only if it bears the Consorzio di Parmigiano-Reggiano stamp. This guarantees that the cheese is genuine and authentic Italian cheese. There are strict regulations against counterfeits.

Its production follows strict rules and the cheese is made using artisanal methods. Quality control guarantees that Parmesan is always of the highest quality that consumers are looking for in Italian cheese.