When it comes to Italian cheeses, Parmesan is undoubtedly one of the most popular and beloved. This hard, granular cheese has a nutty and salty flavor and is often grated over pasta dishes or used as a garnish on salads.

But with so many varieties of Parmesan cheese available in the market, which one is the strongest? Let’s take a closer look.

What Is Parmesan Cheese?

Parmesan cheese, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, is a hard Italian cheese made from cow’s milk. It originated in the Parma region of Italy and has been produced there for over 900 years.

To make Parmesan cheese, the milk is heated and curdled using rennet. The resulting curds are then pressed into large wheels and aged for at least 12 months.

What Makes Parmesan Cheese Strong?

The strength of Parmesan cheese depends on several factors, including its age and how it was produced. Generally speaking, the longer a wheel of Parmesan cheese is aged, the stronger its flavor becomes. However, there are other factors that can affect its strength as well.

For example, some producers add extra salt to their Parmesan cheese during production to give it a more intense flavor. Others may use different types of bacteria cultures or aging methods that can also impact its strength.

The Strongest Types of Parmesan Cheese

While all types of Parmesan cheese have a distinct flavor profile, some are stronger than others. Here are some examples:

  • 24-Month Aged: This type of Parmesan cheese is aged for a minimum of two years and has a deep, complex flavor with notes of caramel and nuttiness.
  • 36-Month Aged: Aged for three years or more, this type of Parmesan cheese is incredibly strong and has a sharp, almost spicy flavor.
  • Stravecchio: Stravecchio is an extra-aged Parmesan cheese that’s been aged for four years or more. It has a deep, rich flavor with notes of sweetness and a nutty finish.

How to Use Strong Parmesan Cheese

Strong Parmesan cheese can be used in many ways in the kitchen. Its intense flavor makes it perfect for grating over pasta dishes or risottos, where it can stand up to other bold flavors. You can also use strong Parmesan cheese as a garnish on salads or soups, or serve it alongside fruit and nuts as part of a cheese board.


When it comes to Parmesan cheese, strength is all about personal preference. Whether you prefer a milder or stronger flavor, there’s a type of Parmesan out there that’s perfect for you. Try different varieties and ages to find your favorite and experiment with different ways to use it in your cooking.