Is Grated Parmesan Actually Cheese?

When it comes to grated Parmesan cheese, many people wonder if it is actually cheese or just a processed imitation. In this article, we will explore the origins of grated Parmesan and its composition to determine whether it is indeed authentic cheese or something else entirely.

The Origins of Grated Parmesan

Grated Parmesan, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, has a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages in Italy. It hails from the Parma and Reggio Emilia regions, hence its name.

Traditional Parmigiano-Reggiano is made using only three ingredients: unpasteurized cow’s milk, salt, and rennet. The production process adheres to strict regulations set forth by the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Composition of Grated Parmesan

Grated Parmesan cheese is made from wheels of aged Parmigiano-Reggiano that are finely grated for convenience. It contains no additives or preservatives, making it a natural product that can be enjoyed by those with dietary restrictions or preferences.

The Aging Process:

  • The wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano are aged for a minimum of 12 months but can be aged up to 36 months for a more intense flavor.
  • This aging process gives the cheese its distinctive nutty and savory taste that pairs well with various dishes.

The Flavor Profile:

  • Grated Parmesan boasts a complex flavor profile with hints of fruity sweetness and sharpness.
  • Its granular texture adds a delightful crunch to dishes and enhances their overall taste.

Uses of Grated Parmesan

Grated Parmesan is a versatile ingredient that can elevate the flavors of many dishes. It is commonly used as a topping for pasta, salads, and soups. The cheese’s umami-rich taste adds depth and complexity to these dishes, making them more enjoyable.

Tips for Buying and Storing Grated Parmesan

1. Look for Authenticity: When purchasing grated Parmesan, ensure that it carries the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) seal.

This ensures that you are getting genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano.

2. Check the Expiry Date: Always check the expiry date on the packaging to ensure freshness.

3. Store Properly: Once opened, store grated Parmesan in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain its flavor and texture.


In conclusion, grated Parmesan is indeed cheese. Made from aged wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano, it retains all the qualities and flavors of this renowned Italian cheese.

Whether used as a topping or an ingredient in various recipes, grated Parmesan adds a unique touch to any dish. So next time you sprinkle some on your pasta or salad, rest assured that you are enjoying authentic cheese!