Say Cheese

July 16th, 2018

Fabrizio Raimondi, Press Officer from Parmigiano Reggiano tells us all that we want to know about cheese!

According to the Italian law (Royal Decree n. 2033 of 1925), cheese is the product obtained from whole or partly skimmed milk, or from cream, after coagulation by acidification or by renneting, also using starter bacteria or kitchen salt. No matter the type of cheese you eat, you are doing your body good. Cheese doesn’t get enough credit for its health benefits which include benefits like cancer prevention, bone strengthening, and cavity fighting – and also it tastes great!

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Cheeses are classified on the basis of a series of parameters, which may be combined in several different manners. These parameters are:

- Milk used - cheeses are distinguished as cow milk cheeses, ewe’s milk cheeses, buffalo milk cheeses and goat milk cheeses.

- Fat content, expressed on dry matter- cheeses are classified as full-fat cheeses, light (or semi-fat) cheeses, low-fat cheeses

- Consistency, which depends on moisture content - cheeses are classified as soft cheeses, semi-hard cheeses and hard cheeses

- Processing technology and the temperature at which the curd is cooked - cheeses are classified as raw cheeses, semi-cooked cheeses, cooked cheeses, “pasta filata” cheeses characterized by a treatment of the curd with water at 70-90°C and molded (or “blue”) cheeses

-Duration of ripening - cheeses are classified as fresh cheeses, short-ripened cheeses, medium-ripened cheeses and long-ripened cheeses ripened over 6 months like Parmigiano-Reggiano

-On the basis of denomination, cheeses are classified as follows:

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  • Protected Denomination of Origin cheeses (P.D.O.): cheeses produced in well-defined geographical areas. At present, this type of denomination is regulated and protected at European Community level. Examples of this type of cheeses are: Parmigiano-Reggiano P.D.O, Asiago P.D.O., Gorgonzola P.D.O., Mozzarella di Bufala Campana P.D.O. etc
  • Cheeses with Protected Geographical Indication (P.G.I.) which are cheeses produced on the national territory, employing loyal and constant practices, which derive their distinctive characteristics from peculiar characteristics of the raw materials and of the processing technology
  • “Guaranteed Traditional Specialty” cheeses (G.T.S.) which are cheeses produced according to a detailed traditional processing technology, without any link existing with geographical area: these cheeses may therefore be produced on the whole national territory. Only one cheese with this type of de nomination is produced in Italy: Mozzarella STG.

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But the ‘King of Cheeses’ is Parmigiano Reggiano. You may wonder why. Parmigiano-Reggiano is an extraordinary cheese with amazing aromas and taste and a unique texture. It is produced exclusively in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and parts of the provinces of Mantua and Bologna, on the plains, hills and mountains enclosed between the rivers Po and Reno. This is the area hosting four thousand farms where the cattle are fed on locally grown forage. From these deep roots in a protected and respected environment, come the unique qualities, which characterize the “King of Cheeses”.

Since medieval times, when the Benedictine monks started producing these great cheeses specifically for long maturation, man has joined with nature, leaving it untouched and improving only the areas of man’s intervention. The cheese makers are the custodians and interpreters of the secrets of the true craft of milk processing, and although, in hundreds of artisan cheese diaries, they all work with their hands in the same way, the result of their work is inextricably linked to their personal experience and sensitivity giving an appreciable diversity of taste and aromas.

During maturation, Parmigiano-Reggiano gains its typical granular structure, and when cut it into slivers, it becomes crumbly and soluble. Delicious, easy to digest and with a host of nutritional benefits, Parmigiano-Reggiano always exceeds expectations. The unique taste of a product made without additives, with its concentration of proteins, vitamins, calcium and mineral salts make it perfect for all ages and for all situations, a ready source of useful energy for everyone. It’s a highly concentrated cheese and contains only 30% water and 70% nutrients. This means that Parmigiano-Reggiano is very rich in protein, vitamin and mineral. And it is suitable for lactose intolerant people.

Extraordinary, highly digestible and, totally natural: Parmigiano-Reggiano is the King of Cheese

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