Parmigiano Reggiano

In Food item, Recipes by Sue Marshall

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, known as the King of Cheeses, is one of the world’s oldest and richest cheeses – still produced today as it was nine centuries ago. It’s the only cheese that has such an extensive maturation which develops its delicious flavour and unique characteristics.

The use of raw milk and the richness of natural ingredients make this cheese a superior product. A long ageing period is fundamental in building the aromas and texture of Parmigiano Reggiano. Such complexity is achieved in a totally natural way, without any additives, making Parmigiano Reggiano 100% natural, easy to digest and high in calcium. The minimum maturation time is at least 12 months, but only when it reaches approximately 24 months of age, is at its best. Ageing can continue up to 36 months or more, during which time the cheese develops its flavour, texture and digestibility. At the end of the minimum period of ageing, an expert from the Consortium examines each cheese wheel one by one. If a wheel passes inspection and meets the requirements of the P.D.O. (Protected Designation of Origin), it is fire-branded with an oval mark that reads “Parmigiano Reggiano Consorzio Tutela.” On the contrary, the identifying marks and the dotted inscriptions are removed from any cheeses which do not meet the requirements

Within the European Union, Parmigiano Reggiano is the only hard cheese that can legally be called Parmesan. In many areas outside of Europe, the name has become genericized and is used by a number of hard Italian-style grating cheeses even if Parmesan means “from Parma”. However, Parmigiano Reggiano is “the only Parmesan” as it is made in a restricted geographic area using stringently defined methods and according to P.D.O. regulation

Parmigiano Reggiano is a P.D.O. product. P.D.O. products are defined and protected by European Union law in order to defend the reputation of regional foods. This mark ensures that Parmigiano Reggiano can only be produced in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the west of the Reno River and Mantua to the east of the Po River 

Parmigiano Reggiano in numbers

  • 14 litres of milk makes 1 kg of cheese
  • 24 months is the average ageing of the wheels
  • 40 kg is the weight of a wheel
  • 550 litres of milk to make one wheel

Hi-res digital recipe image available upon request. If you would like to receive more recipes featuring Parmigiano Reggiano or a copy of the recipe book, New Ways With Parmigiano Reggiano, please contact Georgie Hackett at +44 (0)20 7389 9404 or email

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