If you’re a cheese lover, then you’ve probably come across Parmesan cheese at some point. This delicious hard cheese is a staple ingredient in many Italian dishes like pasta, pizza, and risotto.

But have you ever wondered what kind of cow makes Parmesan cheese? Let’s find out!

Firstly, it’s important to understand that Parmesan cheese doesn’t come from just any cow. In fact, it only comes from a specific breed of cow called the Italian Friesian. These cows are also known as Holstein-Friesian cows and are primarily found in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.

The Italian Friesian cows are prized for their milk production, which is essential for making Parmesan cheese. They’re known for their high-quality milk that has a perfect balance of fat and protein – the two key components required for making this delicious cheese.

When it comes to making Parmesan cheese, the milk used must be fresh and free from any additives. The process begins by heating the milk in large copper vats to around 33-35°C (91-95°F). Once heated, natural whey cultures and rennet are added to the milk to initiate coagulation.

After coagulation occurs, the curd is cut into small pieces using a special tool called a ‘spino’. The curds are then left to settle before being scooped out and placed into moulds made of beechwood. These moulds give the characteristic shape to Parmesan cheese.

The next step is where things get interesting – the ageing process! Once removed from their moulds, the cheeses are transferred to large warehouses where they’re left to mature for at least 12 months. During this time, they’re turned regularly and brushed with saltwater to develop their distinctive flavour.

So there you have it – while many breeds of cows produce delicious milk suitable for making various types of cheeses, only the Italian Friesian cow can produce the milk required to make authentic Parmesan cheese. Now you can enjoy your next bowl of pasta with a newfound appreciation for the unique qualities of this delicious cheese!


In conclusion, Parmesan cheese is made from the milk of a specific breed of cow known as the Italian Friesian. These cows are prized for their high-quality milk that’s perfect for making this delicious hard cheese.

The process involves heating the milk, adding natural whey cultures and rennet, cutting and moulding the curds, and finally ageing them for at least 12 months. So next time you enjoy a dish with Parmesan cheese, remember that it’s not just any cow that can produce this tasty ingredient!