Canadian Pizza Magazine

Fun facts about Parmigiano Reggiano

By Canadian Pizza   

Features In the Kitchen Ingredients Parmigiano Reggiano Parmigiano Reggiano consortium PDO

Following a tasting event at the Après Wine Bar in Toronto featuring Parmigiano Reggiano in a fusion menu with cocktail and wine pairings, the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium shared fun facts about what it calls “the King of Cheese.”

  • Each wheel is aged for at least a year and goes through a thorough inspection from the consortium before it can get an official seal of approval.
  • Authentic Parmigiano Reggiano can be made only in five locations in Italy: in the provinces of Parma, Reggio-Emilia, Modena, Mantua (south of Po river) and Bologna (west of Reno river).
  • In the European Union the term “Parmigiano Reggiano” has been legally protected by the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) since 1996.

  • After a judgment of the European Court of Justice in 2008, the term “parmesan” is also legally protected by the PDO. Within the EU borders, only the Parmigiano Reggiano can be called and sold under the denomination “parmesan.”
  • Genuine Parmigiano Reggiano contains an embossed rind with dotted letters that has the name of the cheese, date of production and seal of approval from the consortium – the rind is edible and contains a lot of flavour. It has been deemed a “flavour bomb” by celebrity chef Rachael Ray.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese gets more flavourful with age: an 18-month maturation tends to be mild and sweet; 24-month maturation develops a grainier and savoury flavour; a 36-month maturation has a strong salty and nutty flavour.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano delicious is nutritious. Every 30 grams of parmesan contains up to 50 per cent of your daily calcium intake. The cheese is also an excellent source of vitamin A and D, and of iron and potassium.
  • Although it’s a dairy product, parmesan can be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano is the cheese of choice in space, chosen as exceptionally good food for astronauts by both the U.S. and Russian space programs.
  • It takes 550 litres of milk to make one wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano and on average, a wheel of cheese weighs 40 kilograms (85 pounds).
  • Parmigiano Reggiano contains only three ingredients: salt; rennet (a natural enzyme from calf intestine); and raw, unpasteurized milk produced only in the Parmigiano Reggiano area of origin and delivered within two hours of the end of the milking session.

For more information on Parmigiano Reggiano, visit


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