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What Does Parmigiano-Reggiano Mean?

Your favorite Italian recipe calls for Parmigiano-Reggiano and your best friend's, which is very similar to yours, calls for parmesan. So what's the difference? Or are they the same thing? Well the answer is yes, and no.

You see, Parmigiano-Reggiano, is the only "true" parmesan cheese. This is because it's named after, and produced in, the Parma region of Italy. Parmigiano is simply the Italian adjective for Parma, and parmesan is the French adjective, which we use in America.

However the term parmesan has now become so broad that it now covers cheeses that are similar to (or imitating) Parmigiano-Reggiano. American parmesan is similar in flavor and texture, but has a higher salt content and is aged only 10 months (Parmigiano-Reggiano is aged a minimum of 12 months).

So how do you know if you're getting the real deal? Parmigiano-Reggiano is the only one that will have the words Parmigiano-Reggiano on the rind. No other parmesan cheese will have those exact words.

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bobfet1 bobfet1 10 years
I love parmigiano reggiano. Sometimes the cost and rate you eat it seems like having a drug habit.
katie225 katie225 10 years
interesting, i did not know this. i love putting chunks of parmesan into my magic bullet and grinding it up. so much easier (and louder) and grating it by hand. i was raised on kraft parmesan cheese in the plastic shaker bottle, so now i feel special that i can make my own! i love heaping it on goulash.
Stacy14878746 Stacy14878746 10 years
the answer is... parmigiano reggiano is the ONLY one!! I buy it in several pound blocks and it goes embarassingly fast. yummmmmm
SaRaH-22 SaRaH-22 10 years
Thank you so much!!
bfly1133 bfly1133 10 years
Looks like Yum beat me to it...but I can still send it your way of you like.
bfly1133 bfly1133 10 years
SaRah I do have a really simple and fast recipe...but I don't have it with me right now. I could give it to you without measurements, but I think you would want them. If I can I will post it tonight...or you can PM me your email address and I will send it your way. :)
Food Food 10 years
I've got a tasty one planned for next week. It should be up on Monday or Tuesday. Stay tuned!
SaRaH-22 SaRaH-22 10 years
speaking of parmesaean...does anyone know a good and simple recipe for parmesean chicken?? Im new to this whole 'domestic' thing and trying to learn to cook and parmesean chicken is his fav!
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