How Is Parmesan Cheese Made Commercially?

When it comes to Italian cuisine, one ingredient that stands out is Parmesan cheese. Known for its distinct flavor and crumbly texture, Parmesan is a popular choice in many dishes.

But have you ever wondered how this delicious cheese is made commercially? Let’s dive into the process!

1. Milk Collection

The first step in making Parmesan cheese is collecting the milk.

High-quality milk from cows that have been fed a specific diet is crucial. This diet ensures the milk has the right balance of nutrients and fats necessary for the production of this unique cheese.

2. Curdling

Once the milk has been collected, it is heated and then mixed with rennet, an enzyme that aids in curdling. This curdling process causes solids to separate from the liquid, forming curds.

3. Cutting and Cooking

The curds are then cut into small pieces to release more whey, which is the liquid part of milk. The mixture of curds and whey is then cooked at a specific temperature for a set amount of time.

4. Draining

After cooking, the mixture is transferred to molds where it continues to drain excess whey. The molds help shape the cheese into its iconic wheel form.

5. Salting

Salt plays a vital role in developing Parmesan cheese’s flavor profile. The wheels are submerged in brine or dry salted to enhance their taste and aid in preservation.

6. Aging

The most crucial step in making Parmesan cheese is aging it properly.

The wheels are stored in temperature and humidity controlled rooms for a minimum of 12 months. During this time, the cheese undergoes a slow fermentation process, developing its unique flavor and texture.

7. Quality Control

Throughout the aging process, Parmesan cheese is regularly inspected to ensure it meets the strict quality standards set by regulatory bodies. This ensures consistency and guarantees that consumers are getting an authentic product.

8. Packaging and Distribution

Once the aging process is complete, the wheels of Parmesan cheese are ready for packaging. They are carefully wrapped in protective materials to maintain their freshness and shipped to various markets worldwide.

In conclusion, Parmesan cheese is made commercially through a meticulous process that involves milk collection, curdling, cutting and cooking, draining, salting, aging, quality control, and packaging. Each step contributes to the rich flavor and unique characteristics of this beloved Italian cheese.

  • Milk is collected from cows fed a specific diet.
  • The milk is curdled using rennet.
  • The curds are cut into small pieces and cooked.
  • The mixture is drained in molds to shape the cheese.
  • The wheels are salted to enhance flavor and aid preservation.
  • Parmesan cheese is aged for at least 12 months to develop its distinct taste and texture.
  • Regular quality control checks ensure consistent standards are met.
  • The finished wheels are packaged and distributed globally.

Next time you enjoy a plate of pasta or sprinkle some Parmesan over your salad, you can appreciate the intricate process that goes into making this delicious cheese!