One of the most imitated cheeses in the world, Parmigiano Reggiano has a long tradition. Made from raw cow's milk (a kilo of cheese requires around 16 litres of milk) it is a source of exceptional protein and vitamins. Real Parmigiano Reggiano comes from a restricted area, according to the 1955 Italian law defining the standard of this cheese. This is indicated by the notation denominazione di origine, which indicates that it is from the provinces of Modena, Parma and Reggio Emilia, Bologna and Mantova. The towns of Parma and Reggio Emilia give the cheese its name.
True Parmigiano Reggiano is nothing like the flaky 'parmesan' many of us sprinkled on spaghetti as children. A cooked, unpressed, semi-fat hard cheese, its color may vary from ivory white to straw yellow. Tiny white crystals on the surface of the cheese indicate that it has undergone a lengthy ripening period, averaging 24 months.
Parmensan Reggiano has a delicate, savory flavor, with a milky and vegetal aroma. Use it to add flavor to white or yellow polenta, in risotto, or simply sprinkled over seasonal vegetables.