Parmesan cheese is the name of an Italian extra-hard cheese made of cow's milk. The original Parmesan cheese is more precisely called Parmigiano-Reggiano. It is produced only in Italy, in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Mantua (partly)and Bologna (partly). It is usually the cheese to go with Spaghetti and other typical Italian pasta, but it also has many other uses. Parmesan is a part of Italian national cuisine and it can be consumed both grated and in slivers. It is hard, sharp and dry.
The brand (Parmigiano Reggiano) is protected, and only in Europe. In many parts of the world, cheese is sold as Parmesan cheese that has nothing to do with the true (Italian) Parmigiano Reggiano.
The original Parmesan cheese is one of the most expensive cheeses in the world.
Within the European Union, the term Parmesan may only be used, by law, to refer to Parmigiano-Reggiano itself, which must be made in a restricted geographic area, using stringently defined methods. In many areas outside Europe, the name "Parmesan" has become genericized: Any one of a number of hard Italian-style grating cheeses are called 'Patmesan'. After the European ruling that "parmesan" could not be used as a generic name, Kraft renamed its grated cheese "Pamesello" in Europe.
- Case C-132/05 Commission v Germany European Commission Legal Service, July 2008
- "Most Parmesan Cheeses in America Are Fake, Here's Why". Forbes. November 19, 2012. Retrieved 2015-05-13.
... that it has earned the nickname in the dairy industry, 'The King of Cheeses.'
- Romeo, Claudia. "Why parmesan cheese is so expensive". Insider. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
- Oxford Companion to Food, s.v. 'parmesan'
- Cox, James (9 September 2003). "What's in a name?". USA TODAY. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
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