Parmesan cheese is a well-known and loved cheese all around the world. This Italian cheese is popularly used in a variety of dishes, including pasta, risotto, and salads.
But have you ever wondered how this delicious cheese is made? Let’s explore the process of making Parmesan cheese.
The first step in making Parmesan cheese is to collect fresh milk from cows that are not treated with antibiotics. The milk must be heated to a specific temperature to ensure that it is safe for consumption.
Once the milk has been heated, the cheesemaker adds starter cultures to it. These cultures help to convert lactose into lactic acid and begin the process of coagulation.
The next step in making Parmesan cheese is coagulation. Rennet, a natural enzyme found in the stomachs of young cows, sheep, or goats, is added to the milk.
The rennet causes the proteins in the milk to coagulate and form curds. The curds are then cut into small pieces with a tool called a curd knife.
After cutting the curds into small pieces, they are cooked at a specific temperature for a set amount of time. The cooking process helps to expel excess moisture from the curds and create a firmer texture.
Once cooked, salt is added to the curds. The amount of salt added depends on how long the cheese will be aged for. A longer aging period requires more salt.
After salting, the curds are placed into molds with perforations at their sides and bottoms called ‘fascere.’ These molds are used to shape the curds into wheels. During this process, whey drains out through these perforations leaving the cheese more compact.
Finally, the Parmesan cheese wheels are aged for at least 12 months. During the aging process, the wheels are stored in a cool and humid environment to promote natural bacteria growth. The bacteria help to break down the cheese’s proteins and create its distinct flavor.
Parmesan cheese is a delicious Italian cheese that is loved by people all around the world. The process of making Parmesan cheese may seem simple, but it requires precision and care to achieve its unique texture and flavor. From heating the milk to aging the cheese, every step plays a crucial role in creating this beloved cheese.