Parmesan Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About

Parmesan is one tasty – and healthy – food option for meals and snacks. It’s processed naturally, and it is widely known for its all-organic content. But what other things do you know about this type of cheese beside the nutrition information?

Here, we’ve got some interesting facts about this type of cheese which you probably didn’t know about.

grated parmesan cheese

What’s in a name?

This “King of Cheese” isn’t originally called parmesan. Its real and original name is actually Parmigiano Reggiano, which is taken from the regions where it’s trademarked in Italy – Parma and Reggio.  

A long history

Parmesan is no ordinary cheese. It has been continuously made by the some of the same families for generations. The earliest recorded history of its existence was from Benedictine monks, going as far back as 800 years.  Generally, it is still being made in the same way up to today, maintaining tradition.

A matter of aging

Freshly made parmesan cheese in one loaf weighs about 110 pounds, or 50 kilograms. In comparison, after some time of aging, in about two years, the same loaf of cheese will shrink down to 88 pounds, or 40 kilograms.

How old?

The age of the parmesan cheese contributes to its taste: the older it is, the stronger the flavor and the more complex the taste. Parmesan that is young is called giovane, vecchio for middle aged, and for the oldest, the name given is straveggio.

Milk matters

A single loaf of parmesan would cost you 160 gallons of milk, or 600 liters. This means that, for a kilogram alone of parmesan cheese, 4 gallons or 16 liters of milk will be needed.

Cheese rind

The wheel’s rind will tell you several details about the cheese: its year of production, the place it was made from, and its trademark region DOP, or Denominazione d’Origine Protetta – also known as Protected Designation of Origin.

Also, remember not to throw away the rind, as you can just put it in your cooking along with other ingredients for added flavor. You may remove it just before serving.

Low fat cheese for everyone

The aging process of parmesan renders it lactose-free, without any preservatives. The making of the cheese is also all-natural, with no added ingredients beside the cow’s milk, salt, and calf rennet needed for production. It is also easy to digest because of its relative low fat.

Proper storage

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese has to be stored properly, wrapped in cool waxed paper. Through this, you’ll be able to store it for up to four weeks or more. Relatively young cheese can be stored even longer, letting it ripen until it achieves a more aromatic quality.

Special knife

Since parmesan cheese is hard, you won’t cut it but instead break it, preferably with a specially designed knife shaped like an almond. For grated parmesan, make sure to grate it fresh to enjoy the wonderful aroma.

Parmesan cheese is no doubt a truly worthy snack choice and meal ingredient for a variety of dishes, plus it has tons of health benefits. With its noteworthy production and natural quality, there’s no doubt why this type of cheese is popular. With these interesting facts, you’ll appreciate every sumptuous bite of this cheese even more.