When it comes to parmesan cheese, there is no denying its popularity and versatility in the culinary world. This beloved cheese has been a staple ingredient in numerous dishes, from pasta to salads and everything in between.
But have you ever wondered where parmesan cheese is imported from? Let’s explore the origins of this delectable cheese.
Italy: The Birthplace of Parmesan Cheese
It should come as no surprise that Italy is the birthplace of parmesan cheese. This rich and flavorful cheese, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, originates from the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, and Mantua in northern Italy.
The Traditional Production Process
The production process of parmesan cheese is steeped in tradition and requires meticulous attention to detail. It starts with the highest quality milk from cows fed on local forage and carefully follows a precise set of guidelines.
Milking and Skimming
The milking process primarily occurs during the evening and morning hours. The milk is then left to naturally separate into cream and skimmed milk overnight.
Cooking and Curdling
The skimmed milk is heated in large copper cauldrons before adding calf rennet to curdle it. This curdling process takes around 10 minutes.
Cutting the Curd
Once the curd has formed, it is cut into small grains using a special tool called a spino or spino da caseificio. The grains are about the size of rice grains.
Cooking the Curd
The curds are then cooked at a specific temperature for about an hour, allowing them to sink to the bottom of the cauldron.
Molding and Pressing
The curds are removed from the cauldron and placed into cylindrical molds, which are then pressed with a weight to remove any remaining whey.
Salting and Aging
After being removed from the molds, the cheese wheels are soaked in a brine solution for several weeks. Following this, they are transferred to aging rooms where they mature for a minimum of 12 months, but often up to 36 months or more.
Importing Parmesan Cheese
While parmesan cheese is primarily produced in Italy, it is also imported to various countries around the world. Some of the major importers of parmesan cheese include:
- United States: The United States is one of the largest importers of parmesan cheese. It is used extensively in American cuisine and enjoyed by millions.
- United Kingdom: Parmesan cheese holds a special place in British cuisine.
It is widely used in dishes like pasta, risotto, and salads.
- Australia: Australians have developed a fondness for parmesan cheese over the years. Its usage can be found in numerous Australian dishes.
- Canada: Canadians also appreciate the flavors of parmesan cheese. It is often grated over pasta dishes or used as an ingredient in savory recipes.
Parmesan cheese, with its origins deeply rooted in Italy, has become a beloved ingredient worldwide. Its production process follows strict traditions that result in its unique flavor and texture. Whether enjoyed freshly grated over pasta or incorporated into various dishes, parmesan cheese adds a delightful touch to any culinary creation.