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Parmesan Reggiano – the facts

Parmigiano Reggiano – The Facts!

Parmesan cheese has long been a favourite staple in Italian cuisine. Whether grated on pasta or eaten whole, this delicious cheese emanates from the Provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, and Modena, also across Bologna and Mantua. Made using unpasteurised milk, the finished cheese has a hard texture and is a great source of daily vitamins, calcium and minerals. This cheese was officially declared as a PDO product of Italy back in 1955.

The Ageing Process

The ageing process is what makes Parmesan cheese so unique. Whilst many soft and hard cheeses are aged quickly for mass production and consumption – Parmesan is aged in a slow yet efficient manner, the unique magic of Parmesan’s taste and texture is based on the ageing process. In fact, the following table features the ageing periods for the most popular Parmesan cheese varieties:

  • Minimum aging time – 12 months (1 year).
  • Vecchio – 18-24 months.
  • Stravecchio – 24-36 months.

These numbers represent the basic ageing periods for Parmesan cheese which cannot be less than 12 months – locally is rarely consumed that young and the minimum ageing for export is 24 months. In addition, Parmigiano Reggiano has no more than 32% water and no less than 32% good milk fat in its solid form. Parmesan goes well as a whole snack – and is a great source of vitamin D and calcium. Nasa packs Parmigiano Reggiano in the meals for astronauts on the ISS, so it really is out of this world!

Parmesan Cheese Nutritional Values

Parmesan cheese is an excellent source of several vitamins. These includes vitamin A and D, along with Thiamine and Riboflavin. These cheeses also contain essential minerals, including calcium, iron and potassium. As part of a daily regime, Parmesan helps increase energy and secures vitality. Also, Parmesan contains up to 50% of your daily intake of calcium in just 30 grams of cheese. If looking for a great snack or ways to enhance your favourite Italian dishes, look no further than Parmesan.

Infographic and text created by EmiliaDelizia.com