Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Who hasn't had Parmigiano-Reggiano grated over a steaming hot pasta pasta dish or crisp Caesar salad?! It's known as the "King of Cheeses" and is enjoyed far outside of the northern Italian provinces where it is produced. The name "Parmigiano-Reggiano" is legally protected by an Italian governmental decree (this cheese stuff gets pretty serious, guys!) and because it's widely imitated, it became regulated back in 1955 and is now a certified name. Authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano always has an engraved dot pattern on the rind, easily identifying itself as the King, of course.
So what goes into this adored cheese, making it such a classic?! Parmigiano-Reggiano is only allowed four natural, simple ingredients: unpasteurized cows milk, natural whey culture, rennet (a natural enzyme), and salt. After soaking in a Mediterranean sea salt brine for twenty days, the cheese is matured naturally for an average of 24 months.
In addition to grating it over your favorite meals, the mild nutty flavor and fruity notes of Parmigiano-Reggiano pair well with a wide variety of wines. If you're into reds, grab a wine with a fab fruit profile such as Chianti, Barolo, or Pinot Noir. If you're more into whites or bubbly, shoot for a Prosecco, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, or something with a touch of sweetness such a Gewurztraminer or Riesling. With this many complimenting wines, how can you possibly go wrong with Parmigiano-Reggiano?!
So grab yourself some authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano and your favorite wine and be sure to include them in your next soiree! Don't forget the crackers, prosciutto and apricot preserves for the ultimate tasting experience.
Oh, and that leftover rind stamped with their name? Don't let it go to waste! Take an empty bottle of wine (because you know you just finished one after that charcuterie board!) and fill with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and cubed pieces of the rind. Let it sit for a few days and then use it as a dipping oil for some crusty Italian bread. Still have another piece of rind left? Toss it in your next pot of soup or homemade sauce (or gravy!). Let it simmer all day and remove just before serving. You're practically a Michelin Star restaurant now. Enjoy, Grazers!