Parmigiano Reggiano DOP is undoubtedly the most consumed of Italian cheeses and is one of the most famous cheeses in the world.
Parmigiano Reggiano DOP is a ‘hard paste’ cheese, characterized by low water content and an aging period that can vary from a minimum of 12 months to well over 30. This specialty is produced in the provinces where are located the Italian cities of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Mantua (on the right of the Po River), and Bologna (on the left of the Reno River).
The first appearances of Parmigiano Reggiano DOP occur in the Middle Ages, when the Benedictine and Cistercian monks first produced it, using the milk of
the cows raised in the barn, where the cows were used in reclamation work, and salt from the deposits in Salsomaggiore. Since then, the shape has gotten a little bigger, but the cheese is still produced naturally today without any additives.
The need to protect the product from similar counterfeit products dates back to the 17th century; the year 1612 to be precise, which marks the beginning of the history of the Denomination of Origin, thanks to a document of the Duke of Parma, Ranuccio Farnese. It was not so long ago, in 1996, that the European DOP certification was officially approved.
Interesting FACTS about Parmigiano Reggiano DOP
- It is highly nutritious as it contains 30% water and 70% nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins (A, B2, and B6), calcium and phosphorus.
- It is almost completely lactose-free (0.01 grams for every 100 grams of product).
- It was mentioned in one of the most famous books in Italian history, Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron, written between 1350 and 1353.
“… a mountain, made with grated Parmesan cheese, on which dwell folk that does nothing else but make macaroni and ravioli, and boil them in capon’s broth, and then throws them down to be scrambled for.”