Ever wonder how and where farmers make Parmesan cheese? To be sure, locals know it as “Parmigiano Reggiano,” and it doesn’t come from the supermarket!
The History of Parmesan Cheese
Artisans from Northern Italy have been making Parmesan cheese since the middle ages. Interestingly, the Parmigiano Reggiano we have today is very much the same as it was, going back as far as the 1300s. Today, Parmesan is made in a few different areas in Northern Italy. For example, farms can from Modena, Bologna, Reggio Emilia, Parma, and Manua make Parmesan cheese.
How Parmesean Cheese Gets Made
Parmigiano Reggiano gets made from raw cow’s milk. To be sure, farmers wake up early each day and collect the whole milk from the cows.
This milk is then mixed with a naturally skimmed milk, to provide a perfectly balanced combination. Then, the milk is mixed with whey and rennet, heated, and then gets moved to plastic or stainless steel forms.
After 20-25 days, the cheese has set into its iconic form and is then stored for aging, as shown below.
Beware of the Fakes
The Parmigiano Reggiano consortium protects authentic Parmigiano Reggiano. For example, the consortium has a significant checklist that ensures the cheese gets manufactured according to their time-tested standards. Then, after the 12th month of storage, each parmesan wheel is inspected. Finally, if it passes the test, the “Parmigiano Reggiano” seal will be written along the side of the wheel.
To be sure, the best Parmigiano Reggiano is 24-36 months old, and sometimes even older!
A Parmesan Cheese Farm
Andrea was born and raised in Northern Italy. At the age of 30 he moved to Vancouver Canada. Over the years he traveled extensively in North America, Europe, Central America and Asia. He is passionate about traveling, cruising and travel photography. He likes to write about his traveling and shows his travel photos.