Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is a very hard cheese obtained from cow’s milk. It is difficult to imagine Italian cuisine without its characteristic taste. Check the nutritional value of Parmesan cheese, how many calories it has, how it was used in the kitchen and where to buy Parmesan cheese.

Where Parmesan comes from

Parmesan, or Parmigiano Reggiano, is a rennet cheese produced in the limited geographical area of northern Italy, where it has long been used in the kitchen and its nutritional value is probably the most well known.

What does parmesan production look like? Parmesan cheese is a very hard cheese made from raw cow’s milk exclusively from Razza Regiana or Vacca Rossa cows. The milk is exposed to temperature and rennet until the cheese lumps are obtained.

In the next stage, it is transferred to brine for 23 days, then goes to the ripening room, where it stays for 1 year. We get young cheese if it stays for only one year. If it stays for 2 years we get old parmesan. And if it stays for 3 years we will get very old parmesan.

Among other things, the price of parmesan depends on the ripening time. The shorter the Parmesan cheese ripens, the lower the price.

The original Parmesan cheese has dark skin and has information about the month of production and the manufacturer’s identification number.

Parmesan – nutritional values and health values

Parmesan is an excellent source of wholesome protein (35.71 g/100 g), which is a very important building and functional substance for our body. It participates in the regulation of gene expression and metabolic processes. It is also part of the enzyme systems, participates in cell immunity processes and participates in oxygen transport and vision processes.

Parmesan is an easily digestible product with a high content of protein and calcium, with possible probiotic and prebiotic effects.

Parmesan can be great addition to pasta dishes!
Parmesan can be great addition to pasta dishes!

Protein also affects the physiological balance of calcium, and adequate protein supply is associated with proper skeletal growth in children and bone mass maintenance in the elderly.

Parmesan is a great source of calcium (1250 mg/100 g) – 100 g of cheese covers the daily requirement of this ingredient in more than a hundred per cent. Calcium participates in the process of bones and teeth development. Adequate calcium intake at a young age reduces the risk of osteoporosis later in life. In addition, calcium participates in the processes of muscle contraction, conduction of nerve stimuli. Also, it participates in blood clotting and ensures normal heart function.

In Parmesan we also find a large amount of vitamin A (40 mcg/100 g) responsible for proper vision, ensuring the proper condition of the skin and protecting DNA from damage due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Unfortunately, Parmesan is a product with a high sodium content (1714 mg/100 g), which increases the risk of hypertension, heart disease and stroke. Due to the high sodium content, Parmesan should be given up by people with heart disease and high blood pressure.

Parmesan cheese in the kitchen

Parmesan is characterized by a sharp, mature taste and aroma, light yellow colour and very hard texture.

Two-year Parmesan cheese is used as an addition to cold dishes of salads, pastes, as well as to pizza, pasta dishes, tripe, omelettes. Parmesan is hardly ever served on a cheeseboard.

Young Parmesan is served with wine, in combination with apples or preserves and very old one is served with dried figs or plums and nuts.

How to store Parmesan cheese?

It is best to buy Parmesan cheese in a piece wrapped in waxed paper and then with aluminium foil. Parmesan in the fridge should be in its coolest part, i.e. on the top shelf. It may even be there for 2 months. However, with time it becomes more and more dry and hard.

How to choose Pamresan cheese

The original Parmesan has dark skin, has information about the month of production and the manufacturer’s identification number. There are also imitations of Parmesan cheese on the market. Parmesan cheese can be confused with e.g. Grana Padano cheese. The difference between Grana Padano and Parmesan cheese is milk used for production. In Poland, this type of cheese is often confused with Parmesan cheese, even though both smell and taste completely different.