Thursday, 16 February 2012

Parmigiano-Reggiano, the king of the cheeses

Cheese has a prominent place among the products of animal origin. Among our types of cheese of the oldest tradition Parmigiano Reggiano can now be considered as a symbol of culture and civilization.
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is one of the most imitated in the world.
In the Parmigiano-Reggiano there is a real concentration of nutritional substances, as a kilo of cheese comes out from a 16 litres of the most valuable milk of the typical zone (and every wheel is about 45 kg!!!), exceptional for its protein and vitamin content and for its wealth of calcium and phosphorus (excellent for children).
After a complex production procedure and 12 months aging, the Consorzio Parmigiano-Reggiano, founded back in 1934, inspects each and every cheese. The cheese is tested by a master grader whose only instruments are a hammer and his ear. By tapping the wheel at various points, he can identify undesirable cracks and voids within the wheel. Those cheeses that pass the test are then heat branded on the rind with the Consorzio's logo.
The whole production should come from a restricted area - according to the law that on 1955 defined the standard of this cheese: the provinces of Modena, Parma and Reggio Emilia and partially Bologna and Mantova.
It is in fact due also to the geographical position of the production zone that the Parmigiano Reggiano is a cheese absolutely unique and impossible to imitate.
Even the name itself shows the close link with the surrounding areas: the towns of Parma and Reggio Emilia.

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