by Carlos Almaraz, Cheesemonger
Parmigiano-Reggiano (par-mee-JAH-noh-reh-JAH-noh) is undeniably the “King of Cheeses.” Personally, it has to come in second as one of my favorite cheeses of all times.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is very complex and subtle; it is also undeniably rich. It has a vast range of applications, however it is most commonly grated in pastas. Two separate milkings are used in every batch of cheese, one that rests over night and the other that is added from the morning milking. After the curds are separated from the whey, (this is strictly delineated by the D.O.C. region) it is cooked in a caldron then placed on large locally grown hemp cloth to remove excess moisture. Later, the cheese is placed in molds so it can retain its Parmigiano shape. The cheese is then washed in salt water brine, left briefly in the sun, and finally, hauled off to a cascina to age properly. P
armigiano-Reggiano pairs very well with thinly sliced Prosciutto Di Parma, fresh seasonal melons, and figs. Parmigiano Reggiano can also be paired with to a nice light Moscato, or to bolder reds like Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, or Barolo.