Originally manufactured inItaly
Cheese flavor profileSpicy, balanced, pungent
Milk typeCow's milk cheese
Cheese typeHard cheese
Semi-hard cheese
JENEIL ProductsPCG-3922; PCG-39100; PCG-91030



Parmigiano Reggiano has been produced according to an almost unchanged process since the Middle Ages in northern Italy. The export of Parmesan in relatively early times is also documented (1666). Until 1934, the identical cheese was sold as "Reggiano" in the province of Emilia and as "Parmigiano" in the region of Parma. It was only after long negotiations that producers from both regions could agree to offer their cheese under the common name "Parmigiano Reggiano".

To produce Parmigiano Reggiano, semi-skimmed milk from the evening is mixed with the untreated whole milk from the morning milking in copper vats. The heated milk is mixed with fermented whey and coagulated with rennet. The resulting curd is cut into fine granules about the size of a lentil using a balloon sieve called a "spino". Everything is then heated, causing the coagulated casein to sink to the bottom and the whey to float on top. The cheese granules are then collected from the bottom of the kettle with large cloths. The dripping whey was used in the past to feed pigs, which were used for the production of Parma ham.

Parmesan is a hard, grainy, drum-shaped cheese. The crust is usually several inches thick and extremely hard. It is difficult to cut pieces, so most cheese is grated or dug out. Parmesan cheese has a hard, firm consistency with no holes. The flavor of the cheese can be described as wonderfully tangy and balanced. As the cheese ages, its flavor profile can even take on some sharp notes. Most Italian pasta dishes are completed with a portion of grated Parmesan cheese.

Following a 2008 ruling by the European Court of Justice, only cheese with the protected designation of origin (PDO) "Parmigiano Reggiano" may be sold under the name "Parmesan."

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