Tracing Parmigiano-Reggiano's history back seven hundred years to 1344, the first recoded reference to the famous Italian cheese is in a purchasing ledger for a Florentine Prior's Refectory. That comes as no real surprise given that the monks of Emilia-Romagna were long experimenting with cheesemaking, including double-heating the milk to produce Parmigiano-Reggiano's signature pasty consistency that would eventually harden into dense drums. Far more intriguing is the second oldest reference to the cheese found in Giovanni Bocaccio's 1353 masterpiece, The Decameron. Through Bocaccio's work, we can learn about life in medieval Italy, including how they ate: "and there was a whole mountain of Parmigiano cheese, all finely grated, on top of which stood people who were doing nothing but making macaroni and ravioli."
Claims have been made -- and not challenged -- that Parmigiano-Reggiano has been made according to the same recipe for over eight hundred years. Real Parmigiano-Reggiano can be made only in specific regions from mid-April to mid-November. This ensures that the milk used comes from cows who were pastured on fresh local grass. The cheese is hard, grateable, and sometimes crunchy with deep, rich flavors, which heighten any food it graces.
The milk from this Parmesan comes from the Bruna Alpina and Rossa Reggiana breed of cows.
Certified organic by Suelo e Salute s.r.l. (ITASS)
Farm / Company: La Villa Reggiana
Region: Emilia Romagna
Milk Type: Cow
Milk Treatment: Raw
Rind: Natural, fostered in brine bath
Aging: More than 2 years
Size(s): 80 pound wheel