This iconic cheese is often described as “The King of Cheese” and for good reason too.
Parmigiana Reggiano or Parmesan began to make a name for itself in the 14th century. These names are now followed by a DOC and a PDO which means it very seriously protected designation of origin and can only be made in a small region of Italy to an exact historical recipe.
Parmigiana Reggiano is an unpasteurised cows milk cheese. The youngest Parmesan your likely to be able to buy is already 12 months old.
This is a very hard cheese that often forms those "crunchy bits" due to it's age.
You can enjoy it broken up in to bits with a nice Chianti (said in the voice of Sir Anthony Hopkins) and some Parma ham or use for cooking it in a huge variety of dishes. There's nothing better than a fresh bowl of pasta a dash of good olive oil and a generous topping of Parmigiano.
There's more good news as the milk used to make Parmesan is partly naturally skimmed as they allow the cream to naturally separate from the milk so you don’t have to worry about that extra nibble you pinched while you were cooking that risotto.