Parmigiano-Reggiano: The DLM Difference

There are many different types of Parmigiano-Reggiano marketed from plastic green containers to inexpensive tasteless renditions. But to taste a good Parmigiano-Reggiano is to taste a piece of Italian culinary culture. It carries with it a sense of place as it’s been made nearly the same way since the 12th century coming only from the regions of Modena, Parma, Reggio Emilia, and a small part each of Bologna and Mantova. The cows from which the milk comes from cannot be fed silage, only fresh grass, hay, or alfalfa, and only skim milk is used, reducing the fat content of the cheese. Ours is “extra,” meaning it’s aged longer than the typical Parmigiano. And the Minelli family, whom we’ve visited in the beautiful countryside just outside of Modena, produces just 14 wheels of this magnificent cheese per day! Of all the Parmigiano-Reggiano we’ve tasted over the years, this continues to be our favorite. Whether using on a cheese plate, in a soup or salad, or over pasta, it’s a great value as well!

Look for our Parmigiano-Reggiano in The DLM Cheese Shop or ship this staple via shop.dorothylane.com!

 

The 80 to 90-lb wheels of cheese designated as Parmigiano-Reggiano must only be made by approved producers. They are made using traditional methods that have been used for more than nine centuries.

We choose to have our Parmigiano-Reggiano aged for 24 months— longer than most. We think this has the best balance of flavor, texture, and aroma. The wheels are carefully aged in special rooms where they are cleaned and kept at specific temperatures and humidity.

For more than a decade, we’ve sourced our Parmigiano-Reggiano from brothers Valerio and Giovanni Minelli, and Giovanni’s son Carlo.

Parmigiano-Reggiano is named after the provinces Parma and Reggio Emilia. Just outside of Modena, Italy, are the rolling hills where the Minelli family’s cows quietly graze.

This cheese is made using unpasteurized cow’s milk. When we traveled to Italy,
Giovanni took us to where the cows graze and remarked “Look into their eyes. They are happy.” These words have stuck with us.

As the cheese ages, peptones, peptides, and free amino acids form. When these crystallize, they give Parmigiano-Reggiano its distinctive, slightly crunchy texture, as well as making it a healthy, easy-to-digest food.

After aging for one year, professional cheese testers from the Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium scrutinize each wheel for maturation, aroma, color, consistency, and internal structure. After passing inspection, the wheel is branded with the Consortium’s symbol and finishes aging.

Try our recipe for Oven-Roasted Zucchini Parmigiano-Reggiano!