What is Parmesan cheese?
The original Italian Parmesan also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano is a slightly gritty textured hard cheese with a sharp fruity taste and a strong savory flavor made from cow’s milk. It takes a maturity time of approximately 2 years and produced on a daily basis because of it’s high demand. However, there are many replicas and inferior versions of parmesan cheese produced in US, Australia and Argentina which can impart a bitter taste.
How to choose the best?
Authentic parmesan or parmigiano reggiano will have a stamp on its rind along with the year it was made. It sold at multiple stages of maturity (Giovane: 14-18 months, Vechhio: 18- 24 months, Stravecchio: 24-36 months). Older the cheese, better the taste, and higher the cost. To check the quality – watch the surface and if there are any tiny beads of moisture called congocciola, then it’s a good quality cheese.
How to use it?
You can chop or grate it as per your requirement but make sure to keep it out at room temperature beforehand for at least 1 hour to get the best flavor and aroma of it in your meal.
Parmesan cheese is used in pastas, pestos, salads and many other Italian dishes but it is best complimented in cheese cakes.
Only cut the amount of cheese you require for your dish and keep the rest cling wrapped inside your deep freezer. It can be stored for up to 3-4 months. If you find any mould on the surface then scrape it off and use the cheese underneath.