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.
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.
Recipes: Garlic-Rubbed Grilled Cheese with Prosciutto and Tomatoes
Potato Gratin with Gruyere, Bacon, and Leeks
Pumpkin Risotto with Mozzarella, Sage, and Arugula
Linguini with Pumpkin Sauce and Crumbled Sausage
Kale and Parmesan Salad
Portabella and Quadrello Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Roasted Pumpkin Fondue