Parmesan cheese is one of the most beloved cheeses in the world. It’s a hard, granular cheese that originated in Italy and is made from cow’s milk. Parmesan cheese is known for its nutty and salty taste, and it’s a staple ingredient in many Italian dishes.

Many people wonder if Parmesan cheese can be made outside of Italy. The answer is yes, but there are some important factors to consider.

The Name Parmesan Cheese

Firstly, it’s important to note that only cheese made in certain regions of Italy can legally be called “Parmesan” or “Parmigiano-Reggiano.” These regions include Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, and Mantua. Any cheese made outside of these regions cannot be called Parmesan cheese and must be marketed as a different type of hard Italian-style cheese.

The Production Process

The production process for Parmesan cheese is very specific and regulated by the Italian government. The milk used to make the cheese must come from cows that are fed a specific diet and live within a certain region.

The production process begins with heating the milk to a specific temperature and adding rennet to form curds. The curds are then cut into small pieces before being molded into their traditional wheel shape. The wheels are then brined in saltwater for several weeks before being aged for at least 12 months.

While it’s possible to replicate this production process outside of Italy, it would not be legally allowed to be marketed as Parmesan cheese.

  • Alternative Names

Cheeses made outside of Italy that are similar to Parmesan can be marketed under different names. For example, in the United States, similar cheeses are often called “Parmesan-style” or “Parmesan-style Italian hard cheeses.”

The Taste

While Parmesan-style cheeses made outside of Italy may taste similar to true Parmesan cheese, they will likely have some noticeable differences. The climate, soil, and other environmental factors can all affect the taste of the cheese.


In conclusion, Parmesan cheese can be made outside of Italy, but it cannot legally be called “Parmesan” or “Parmigiano-Reggiano.” Cheeses made outside of the designated regions must be marketed under different names and cannot replicate the exact production process used in Italy. While these cheeses may taste similar to true Parmesan cheese, they will likely have some noticeable differences due to environmental factors.