Parmigiano Reggiano is a 'hard' cheese, characterized by a low water content and a seasoning that can vary from a minimum of 12 months, up to well over 30 up to 40 months. It is produced in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Mantua (to the right of the Po river), and Bologna (to the left of the Reno river). It is the result of a very ancient tradition, begun in the Middle Ages by Benedictine and Cistercian monks.
Both the quality of its ingredients and the method for its preparation have remained unchanged over time up to the present day, so much so that this specialty is unique and deserves the DOP Denomination which protects its characteristics.
The Origin of Parmigiano Reggiano The King of Italian Cheeses
The origins of Parmigiano Reggiano go roughly in the course of the XII century, that is to say in the middle of the Middle Ages. According to some sources, they could even be antecedents. The first producers of this cheese were the Benedictines and Cistercians of the monasteries located in the plains around the cities of Parma and Reggio Emilia: thanks to the milk produced in the excellent local pastures and the salt from the famous Salsomaggiore salt pans, these monks gave life to a food appetizing and nutritious which, at the same time, had the precious advantage of being able to be preserved for a long time, a not insignificant feature, especially in those days.
Its preparation method remained unchanged over time, at least until, in the early 1900s, the use of whey and steam heating of copper boilers began. The desire for protection triggered by the Duke of Parma progressively grew until it culminated in the foundation, in 1954, of the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Consortium.
Parmesan nutritional values
Parmigiano Reggiano contains 30% water and 70% nutrients: among the most useful for health are proteins (above all A, B2, and B6), calcium, and phosphorus.
The presence of fat is not excessive, while attention must be paid to sodium. Lactose and carbohydrates are almost completely absent. The cheese is also free of additives.