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All About Parmesan Cheese

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Parmesan, or Parmigiano Reggiano to be exact, is closely identified with Italian cuisine.

Its well-known sharp flavour enhances sauces, soups, pasta and au gratin dishes, soufflés, stuffed vegetables, etc. Parmesan is made from cow milk (ex: Padano, Reggiano) or sheep milk (ex: Romano) and aged for a minimum of 10 months, sometimes up to two or three years, before being brought to market.

Did you know that...

the firmer a cheese, the greater its calcium content? So a hard cheese like Parmesan has more calcium than a soft cheese like Brie or Camembert. Parmesan should be bought by the piece and grated as needed to preserve its characteristic qualities. Whole, Parmesan keeps well frozen; grated, it keeps up to a week in the refrigerator.

Beyond Pizza and Pasta!

Think outside the pizza box! Parmesan is a great eating cheese. Shaved Parmesan on fresh figs, pears or apples is a superb snack. For a light lunch, serve a quick salad of shaved Parmesan, sliced oranges, chopped nuts and a few peppercorns drizzled with fruity olive oil. Raisin or nut bread topped with thinly sliced or shaved Parmesan makes a delightful breakfast; broiled, it’s divine! Dress up salads and meat dishes with easy-to-make Parmesan chips. Arrange little piles of finely grated fresh Parmesan on a baking sheet and broil at 450˚F/230˚C for 5 min. As a snack, these chips are positively addictive!