Here in the US, Parmigiano- Reggiano is primarily thought of as just a grating cheese. But connoisseurs around the world, especially in it’s native northern Italy, savor it as The King of Cheese: a delicious, full-flavored eating cheese as well as a key addition to their finest dishes. The cheese you see today is the product of a process that has not changed in over 700 years, and it is very easy to see why.
Origin: Italy Milk: Raw Cow Rennet Type: Animal Age: 18-24 months Look: Hard, natural rind and granular interior, straw-colored Feel: Crystalline, dense, grainy Smell: Strong, nutty and fruity Taste: Fruity, nutty, savory, sharp Pairs well with: Light to medium-bodied reds such as Chianti, Valpolicella, or Lambrusco, a sparkling white like Prosecco, or light fruity wines like Dolcetto. If you prefer beer, try an Italian lager. Tastes good with: Serve on cheese plate with fresh apples or pears, or fruit jam, or as an aperitif served in slivers with raw vegetables like celery and cherry tomatoes contrasted with a mild chutney and white wine. Drizzle with a quality balsamic vinegar (make a balsamic reduction for extra sweetness). Grate atop pasta dishes or into risottos and soups- you can also use the rind to add extra flavor while cooking the soup.
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