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Parmigiano Reggiano
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Parmigiano Reggiano was first produced by monks in the Middle Ages? Driven by the quest to make a cheese that would last a long time and
preserve well in transit, they increased its wheel size and allowed it to mass dry.

Since then, Parmigiano Reggiano has become a truly social cheese – travelling to places a long way away from its area of origin in Northern Italy. 

Parmigiano Reggiano is still an excellent ingredient to enjoy as part of a charcuterie or cheese board, paired with top-quality wines, or enjoyed as part of a (virtual!) aperitivo with friends. Stocked by all major UK supermarkets and local delis – and not as in demand as toilet paper – social distancing is a good opportunity to experiment with pairing new flavours and cooking with different ages of the King of Cheeses.

How to enjoy Parmigiano Reggiano
Parmigiano Reggiano should be removed from the fridge prior to tasting, as it is best enjoyed at a temperature of 16-17°C. It is best cut (or "chunked”) with the classic almond-shaped knife to enhance its characteristic graininess, but a normal knife will also work.

The taste and aromas of Parmigiano Reggiano fluctuate with its age, as more matured varieties tend to be stronger, "spicier”, and more fragrant.

When sampling Parmigiano Reggiano, watch out for its prominent aromatic notes which range from melted butter, to herbs and boiled vegetables, and even to fruity notes of citrus or tropical fruit. Depending on the aroma of the cheese, it can then be used as an ingredient or pairing to enhance the flavour of the main dish or even be enjoyed on its own!

The most common age of Parmigiano Reggiano sold in most major UK supermarkets is 24-month, which can be used to make a delicious
Baked Fennel & Leek Gratin, a Warm Salad with Carrots & Lentils, or a Lentil & Parmigiano Reggiano Tabbouleh.

Pairing suggestions
A 12-18-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano is best paired with a sparkling white wine. Enjoy on its own as an aperitif or as part of a cheeseboard.

A 22-24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano is perfectly paired with medium bodied wines or to add flavour to traditional Italian dishes, such as a pasta carbonara or a ragù.

Older ages of Parmigiano Reggiano (30 month and onwards) are crumblier, making it an ideal ingredient to be tasted at the end of a meal paired with fruit and honey. This age is also delicious for filled or baked pastas. 

For more information and recipes with Parmigiano Reggiano, visit www.parmigianoreggiano.com

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