Facts About Food Friday – Parmesan or Parmigiano?
What is the Difference Between Parmesan and Parmigiano-Reggiano?
Answer: Due to Italian D.O.C. laws that protect the names and recipes of certain cheeses, a cheese cannot be called Parmigiano-Reggiano unless it is made using a specific recipe and production method within the provinces of Parma, Reggio-Emilia, Modena, and specific regions in the provinces of Bologna and Mantua. D.O.C laws are meant to preserve the integrity of traditional cheeses by insuring the flavor and quality. Therefore, any cheese made outside of these regions with a slightly different recipe or production method cannot be called Parmigiano-Reggiano .
A cheese called Parmesan is essentially a cheese that imitates the recipe for Parmigiano-Reggiano, but is made outside of the approved Italian regions.
I actually didn’t know this. I knew there was a difference obviously and that authenticity played a part, but I didn’t know all the specific little details. To be fair, I probably won’t remember all the details either, hehe, but it’s cool to read anyway.
I wonder if there are knock-off cheese labeling attempts. You know how companies will slightly change a symbol or rearrange letters a bit. Sharrpies or Adidos anyone? What about Parmesan-Regggiano or Reggiana or something instead?
I bet there’s a whole underworld of cheese scamming now that I never knew about it. Man, why doesn’t anybody ever tell me these things??