Parmesan cheese, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, is one of the most famous Italian cheeses. It is widely used in various dishes and is a staple ingredient in many households.
If you are a cheese lover, you might have wondered what milk Parmesan cheese is made from. In this article, we will explore the answer to this question.
What is Parmesan Cheese?
Parmesan cheese is a hard and granular cheese that originated in Italy. It has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor that intensifies with age. The traditional production of Parmesan cheese involves using raw cow’s milk, rennet, and salt.
What Milk is Used to Make Parmesan Cheese?
Parmesan cheese is made from cow’s milk. However, not just any cow’s milk can be used to produce it.
The milk must come from cows that are fed a specific diet of grass and hay. They must not be given any silage or fermented feed.
The Production Process
The production process of Parmesan cheese involves heating the raw cow’s milk to around 33-35 degrees Celsius. After that, natural whey culture and rennet are added to the mixture to start the curdling process.
Once the curd has formed, it is cut into small pieces and cooked for about an hour until it reaches the desired temperature. The curd is then left to settle at the bottom of the vat before being removed with a special tool called “spino”.
The curdled mixture is then divided into two parts, which are placed in molds lined with cheesecloth for draining. After about two or three days of draining, each cheese wheel receives its unique identification mark by imprinting its rind with its name and production year.
The wheels are then transferred to special rooms where they undergo an aging process for at least 12 months. During this time, the cheese is turned and brushed several times a week to prevent mold growth and to ensure that it matures evenly.
In conclusion, Parmesan cheese is made from cow’s milk that comes from cows fed a specific diet of grass and hay. The production process involves using rennet and salt to curdle the milk, which is then cooked, molded, and aged for at least 12 months. Now that you know what milk is used to make Parmesan cheese, you can appreciate it even more!