Coast Cooking

Turn to Parmesan Reggiano when only the best will do

Parmesan Reggiano is considered by most experts to be the king of cheeses.
Parmesan Reggiano is considered by most experts to be the king of cheeses. Special to the Sun Herald

This week, I’m blogging about the wonderful world of cheese. OK, let’s get this out of the way: Parmesan Reggiano is considered by most cheese experts to be the king of cheeses.

There is, however, a caveat. Parmesan Reggiano is an Italian cheese that is made only in a small handful of provinces in Italy, in one very specific way. It is aged from 18 to 36 months, and the older it is the better it is. Under European law no other cheese can be called Parmesan Reggiano.

Sadly, in the USA, the law does not apply, and there are quite a few knock-offs, but they are in no way even close to the real thing. Imported Italian Parmesan Reggiano is expensive, but a little bit goes a long way. You will never catch me using anything but the real deal.

If you think this cheese is good only for grating on pasta, think again. Shave it into curls, serve it as an appetizer with a good Italian red wine and a few pieces of fresh fruit, like pears or apples. Your life will change.

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