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TIP OF THE DAY: Multi-Task With Parmigiano-Reggiano


The “king of cheeses.” Photo of
Parmigiano-Reggiano by Yin Yang | IST.

  Parmigiano-Reggiano is more than an ingredient in pasta, pesto, risotto, Alfredo sauce and other recipes. It‘s a gourmet multi-tasker.

  • Shave it onto salads.
  • Enjoy it as a snack with a glass of hearty red wine.
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano loves to be paired with apples, figs, grapes, kiwi, peaches, pears and walnuts.
  • Italians enjoy it for dessert, drizzled with a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar.
  • Include it on the cheese plate. For a different take on the cheese course, serve large chunks of the cheese with a variety of dipping sauces, such as pesto, garlicky tomato sauce, olive tapenade, parsley sauce and fruit chutney.
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    The more aged the cheese, the more robust and exciting the flavors.

     

  • Get the full scoop on Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  • Discover the differences between Italy’s great grating cheeses: Parmigianio-Reggiano, Asiago, Grana Padano and Pecorino Romano.
  • Know the correct spelling! In a Google search today, 33,100 people chose the correct spelling, Parmigianio-Reggiano. But 40,500 people are looking for Parmigiano Regianno and 33,100 seek Parmigiano Regiano.
     
    Why is Parmigiano-Reggiano spelled with capital letters? Because it’s the name of the two cities where it’s produced. More about that immediately below.
     
    WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO & PARMESAN CHEESE?

    “Parmesan” cheeses can be made anywhere in the world. But by law, authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese can be produced only in the Italian provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Mantua and Bologna (Parmigiano is the adjective for “of Parma”; Reggiano is the adjectival form of Reggio Emilia). The name is D.O.P-protected.*

    That protected flavor is well worth the price, which is more expensive than generic “Parmesan.”

    Informally, Parmigiano-Reggiano is called the “king of cheeses,” a title it has enjoyed for centuries. Some turophiles will note that Roquefort and Brie have also been called the “king of cheeses”; and Brie is also referred to as the “queen of cheeses.” Why such royal titles?

    The names resulted from different monarchs declaring their love for a particular cheese. The press and the cheese producers picked up on the endorsement and ran with it.

    *D.O.P is an acronym for Denominazione di Origine Protetta, a protected domain of origin that is based on numerous rules and regulations covering where and how a product can be made. It is an agricultural comparison to a trademarked brand. It means that only authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese can be labeled and sold as such. This type of branding ensures consumers worldwide that each wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano meets the same high standards (although the flavors, of course, will vary from producer to producer). The label is applied to numerous cheeses, meat and other foods that are the culinary jewels of Italy; for example, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Prosciutto di Parma.

      




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