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
“… 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.”
When was the last time you had dinner in an Italian restaurant in Canada and you thought you were dining in Italy? That’s exactly how “Ospitalità Italiana Certified”restaurants want you to feel when you visit their fine dining establishments.
Ospitalità Italiana is an official certification from Unioncamere, Italy’s federation of local Chambers of Commerce and Industry, that tells you that the food you are enjoying is unquestionably Italian: products are authentic, ingredients genuine and recipes true to the thousand year history of Italian cuisine.
Canada is home to some leading Italian Chefs. Passionate and innovative, many have refined their skills and advanced their knowledge directly in Italy. In addition, Montréal boasts a fabulous cooking school ITHQ where young aspiring chefs learn Italian technic and Italian traditional recipes from the masters.
So the next time you make reservations for an Italian dinner in a Montreal restaurant, ask if they’ve received the Ospitalità Italiana seal of approval. You will enjoy the true Italian taste.