Parmesan cheese or ‘Parmigiano Reggiano’ is a very well-known and widely used Italian cheese. It is famous for its hardness, dryness, and granular texture (referred to as ‘grana’ in Italy, meaning “grain”). Parmesan cheese is made solely from raw cow’s milk and is aged for at least 12 months (typically aged for three years). Preparing Parmesan cheese also requires adding an enzyme that helps coagulate milk called rennet, salt but no additional bacteria or other additives. As one of the most delicious cheeses out there, Parmigiano Reggiano has a highly sharp, complex, and rich flavor that rightfully got it the label ‘King of Cheeses’ in Italy. It is also unique in its both nutty and fruity taste. Parmesan cheese is mainly used for shredding or grating over dishes like pastas, while it can also be used as an ingredient in risottos and soups. It can often be eaten on its own as a snack as well. Parmesan is a lactose-free cheese that can be a fairly good source of both fat and protein. Parmesan is packed with vitamins like vitamins B6 and vitamin A, while it is also rich in calcium and zinc. Since it took over worldwide cuisine, Parmesan cheese started being produced worldwide in countries like the U.S, Australia, and Argentina. However, these versions of Parmesan do not compare to Italy’s genuine Parmigiano Reggiano, and although close in taste, they can often be labeled as ‘Imitation Parmesan.’
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