How to produce Parmigiano Reggiano, the king of the cheeses

Parmigiano Reggiano is naturally lactose free

Its unique taste is the result of over 9 centuries of history and traditions, in a lovely countryside that goes from the Appennins till the Po river, between dairies and farms where the passion for the good traditions is carefully protected; in warehouses where it slowly ages the best men can do from thr simplest natural elements.

Parmigiano Reggiano is an extraordinary cheese, excellent in the aromas and taste, typical in its structure.

Region of origin

Parmigiano Reggiano is exclusively produced in the region of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, part of Mantova and Bologna, among plains, hills and mountains surrounded by Reno and Po rivers. From this link with a well kept and loved environment the unique characteristics of “the king of all cheeses” derive.
Feeding of animals is done in accordance with a rigid regulation that prevents the use of insilated fodder and fermented foods. Controls of the milk are made constantly with a precise aim: to keep the quality high and those characteristics that stress Parmigiano Reggiano to be a totally natural product, absolutely free of additives or preservatives.

Production

Every day the evening milking milk is left to to rest until the following morning in large tanks, where the fat part spontaneously comes to the surface. The following day, the full fat milk of the morning milk is added and all is poured into typical copper vats with the addition of calf rennet and whey, rich in natural lactic ferments obtained from the previous day’s processing.
The curd that occurrs is fragmented into tiny grains thanks ,to an antique tool called “spino”.

At this stage, the cooking part takes place reaching 55° C, creating a casein mass which is extracted from the “casaro”. After that,the caseic mass is cut in two pieces and wrapped in the typical canvas, and finally placed into a mould that will give it its final shape.
With the application of a casein plate, each wheel is marked with a unique and progressive number that will identify it like an identity card.


Branding and Certificates

Aspecial belt will mark the month and the year of production on the cheese. The Parmigiano Reggiano wheel produced from Boni Spa are identified from the factory number 2331 and 2332. These numbers, provided from the Consorzio of Parmigiano Reggiano, identify the dairies of productions. The wheels are finally recognised from the dotted writing all around the circumference of the wheel. After a few days, they are immersed in a saturated solution of water and salt.
The salt is so absorbed in about one month; this stage concludes the production cycle and opens the charming stage of the seasoning.

Seasoning andQuality control

Every wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano requires around 550 litres of milk and the constant effort of farmers and “casari”. The cheese is left to age on wooden board and it slowly dries, forming a natural crust, without any treatment, which is so perfectly edible.

The minimum seasoning is 12 months: only after that time we will be able to know if it can keep the name given at the origins.

Branding by fire

The Consorzio experts analyse all the wheels one by one and the branding by fire is applied only to the ones which match the requirements of the Protected Designation of Origin. The dotted writing around is removed from the wheels that do not respect the DOP requirements. After 18 months of seasoning, the wheels can be stamped as “Extra” or “Export”, but is mainly a coloured dot that will help the consumer recognise the seasoning of the cheese, when purchasing it in the shops.

Season Indication

Ared dot is stuck on the package when the Parmigiano Reggiano goes over 18 months of seasoning. It is a product containing a strong lactose base, with herbs and fruits notes, for this reasons it is excellent for aperitivi or snacks.

A silver dot identifies the cheese with a seasoning of over 22 months: aromas get stronger and among these you can enjoy notes of fresh fruit and citrus fruits, besides which they come up with notes of dried fruit.

A gold dot identifies the cheese with seasoning of over 30 months, the strongest flavor, more complex in the aromas, with nutritional elements that are more intense due to the long maturity.


Nutritional Values

During the seasoning, Parmigiano Reggiano acquires its typical granular structure, the flake fracture, becomes friable and soluble. Very good, easily digestible, extremely nutritious, Parmigiano Reggiano never miss an opportunity to excel.