|Crah-veh-ROH, Pahr-mee-JAH-naw, Reh-jee-AH-naw|
Since 1855, five generations of the Cravero family have selected and matured fine wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano, working with a small group of producers in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna. Here the pasture and forage lend the Parmigiano a distinct creamy and soft paste and sweet flavor, and cheesemakers continue to follow traditional methods of producing Parmigiano. At around 12 months, the Cravero family hand-selects wheels at the source then ages them for a minimum for 24 months in maturing rooms in Bra, where humidity and temperature are closely monitored to guarantee perfect aging.
Parmigiano Reggiano, the King of Cheeses, is a magnificent cheese by any standard. Since 1955, Parmigiano has been regulated by protected name designation. This means that wheels can only be called Parmigiano Reggiano if they follow strict specifications: The cheese must be made within a small geographic zone of Italy, and with milk from cows fed a specific percentage of fresh grass and hay.
Beyond those designations, the flavor profiles of Parmigiano Reggiano depend a bit on the producer: A summer cheese tends to yield more grassy and herbaceous notes, though others might taste buttery or nutty. More mature wheels tend to be more concentrated, with Parmigiano Reggiano’s deep, characteristic umami.
Parmigiano Reggiano can be used endlessly. Its crumbly, toothsome dryness makes it a stellar snack, especially when drizzled with honey or dotted with balsamic vinegar from Modena, though it melts sumptuously onto pasta or into an aromatic risotto.