Sunday, February 8, 2009

Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmigiano Reggiano is the king of all cheese, made in Italy in the region of Emilia Romagna. Crafted in small batches by artisans, carefully aged and cared for, each wheel is not only an expression of the cheese maker's dedication but of the culinary history of the region itself.

Conditions for producing Parmigiano Reggiano are perfect in the rolling hills and pastures of Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena and portions of Bologna and Mantua.

Each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano carries proof of its authenticity. During production, the future rind is impressed with the numbr of the "caseificio," or cheese house, production date and pin dots forming words "Parmigiano Reggiano." The pin dots guarantee that the cheese was made under regulation of the Cornorzi del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano, conforming toits stringent standards or quality.

After one year of aging, each Parmigiano Reggiano wheel that passes the test is branded with an oval certification mark and left to finish aging. Look for a piece that includes part of the market rind, so you can verify it is Parmigiano Reggiano.

Chef's Tip:
Don't toss the Parmigiano Reggiano rind. Instead, use the rind to cook in soup or sauce. The Parmigiano Reggiano rind is totally edible. After it is soft, remove the Parmigiano Reggiano rind, dice and returnt he bits back to a simmering sauce, stew or soup.

Parmigiano Reggiano after Sports - Food of the Champions:
Parmigiano Reggiano is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and phosphorous, and contains many other vitamins and minerals, including B12, magnesium, copper, and zonc. Made from part-skim milk, it's one of the lowest in fat an contains less salt than many other aged, hard cheeses. In addition, the long, careful, aging breaks down the milk proteins making it easier than other milk products for some people to digest.

Parmigiano Reggiano Perfect Pairings:
Pairing Parmigiano Reggiano with other food highlights its subtle bite and sweetness.

  • Arugula Salad
  • Honey-drizzled pears
  • Creamy risotto
  • Eeggs with shaved truffles

And, of course, the flavor duo of Parmigiano Reggiano and tomato sauce is oe of the most satisfying combinations in food history.

When it comes to wine, bring out the full potential of the cheese by serving it with light- to medium-bodied reds such as Chianti, Valpolicella, or Lambrusco, as well as Prosecco and other sparkling whites.

Click for Parmigiano Reggiano video cheese making process.

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