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Parmigiano-Reggiano (copyright 2006 art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc.)

Posted in recipes

Yesterday, I was contacted by the lifestyle editor at a newspaper in Milwaukee for some quotes and a bit of history and recipes? on the ‘king of cheeses’- parmigiano-reggiano.

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I know a lot about how to use the cheese and even studied ‘the art of’ making the cheese while I was modeling for an artist in the region of Parma (famous for the cheese). However, I had forgotten about all of the remarkable things associated with this remarkable cheese.

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So I wanted to share with you some of the facts from my interview here:

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The process of making Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese was discovered by a Benedictine monk? in the year (approximately) 1200 in a small town called Bibbiano in Reggio-Emilia.

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*There are documented writings from well known authors and artists singing the praises Parmigiano-Reggiano from as far back as the year 1250.

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*The official name and it is a name that has a D.O.P. or (what we know as) a copyright- is Parmigiano-Reggiano.? The name comes from a combination of? the town that produces the cheese- Parma and the region that it is located-Reggio-Emilia. If the cheese is produced from the milk of cows that have not been fed the specified grains- it can not be called Parmigiano-Reggiano and must be called something else. Usually in the USA you will find the name Parmesan on a product that is a copy of this product.

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*Only? natural? whey culture with calf rennet is allowed as a starter in the process of making this cheese and salt is the only allowed additive. It is made from partly skimmed raw cow’s milk.

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*The cheese must be aged a minimum of 12 months. But the most expensive Parmigiano-Reggiano has been aged for approx 24 months.? This is the perfect amount of time to give the flavor of the cheese a chance to develop.

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*Here is an easy but yet elegant recipe to use parmigiano-reggiano cheese. And to produce the best recipe- you need to use the real parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Anything else will ruin the recipe.

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*The cheese was so highly thought of in medieval times because of its high milk content and the quality of the milk used- that it was given as a gift to any members of royalty that visited the region (Reggio-Emilia).

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*For an easy yet? elegant dinner that is especially refreshing anytime of the year- try the following:

Arrange on each individual serving plate- a selection of fresh fruits in season, cut and peeled and on the other side of the plate? cubes or flakes of parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Drizzle aged balsamic vinegar on top and serve with a sprig of fresh mint.

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