And even though I like to think my childhood tastes? have since evolved- I still can’t get over my? mild addiction to this artisan produced cheese from Northern Italy.
The art of this cheese can be realized in the care applied in its making which has remained virtually unchanged for the past 8 centuries.
The cheese is made from raw cows milk. The milk used is specific to the cows of that geographic location, which produce a milk that is able to withstand the maturation process required for the cheese. The morning milking is combined with the previous evenings partially skimmed milk. The milk is then put through the process of heating, and fermenting. After leaving it to rest for 2-3 days the cheese is molded and soaked in a brine of water and sea salt for 20 days. Afterwards the wheels of cheese are set on a shelf for at least 12 months, but up to 24 or 30 months.
It is incredible the devotion this cheese receives during its maturation period. Each huge wheel of cheese is given individualized love and care being checked and turned every day until it is ready to be inspected by the Consorzio. The Consorzio uses a hammer and sound tapping the wheel in search of any irregularities, and extracts a small sample for a taste test. Passing inspection each wheel of parmigiano-reggiano is stamped with the seal all around so that even a small piece can be identified and authenticated. It is no wonder that with the time and care poured into this cheese it is so highly considered and so widely imitated around the world. Pasta nights for me have forever changed since learning about the delicacy in which parmigiano-reggiano cheese is made. Now I linger with every bite truly appreciating the art and dedication that has produced this cheese.? ?