We love cheese and Parmesan Cheese is probably our favorite kind. While most of us have tried a dish topped with parmesan cheese at restaurants, its not really something that is found in most Indian homes. While Mozerella and ‘Pizza Cheese’ are the most commonly found variants in Indian households, the main reason for Parmesan being out of the picture is the massive price tag that comes with it!
But Its just cheese, why is It so expensive? To answer this question, we did some digging on the interwebs and here is what we found!
Parmesan Cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano is an Italian hard and granular cheese. The cheese is named after the areas that originally produced this cheese in Italy. Parmesan cheese was first made and is still made in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Bologna. And a strange fact about this place is that authentic Parmesan Cheese can only be made in these areas!
But why can’t it be made somewhere else? Well, it's because of a certain kind of Bacteria. Parmesan Cheese gets its signature taste and texture due to the presence of good bacteria in the milk. And this kind of bacteria lives only in one part of the world, where Parmesan is made!
In fact, it takes a certain certification to legally produce and sell Parmesan and this certification is given only to factories in Italy.
But all good things have a bad side. The parmesan Industry is trying to preserve the art and culture behind Cheesemaking from imposters around the world. Parmesan Cheese is among the worlds most replicated items! And because replicas are available for cheaper prices, Italy’s little industry is facing problems trying to sell their exquisite cheese.
In fact, the number of imposters has gone up so much that in most parts of the world, the Cheese being sold as parmesan is not authentic! So how do you tell if your cheese is the real deal? You look at the packaging of the product as each cheese wheel or block will have a serial number and sign that can be authenticated by the manufacturer. Also, each block or wheel of cheese will have an imprint of the manufacturer that will tell you about when and where the cheese was produced.
Think about it. It is highly possible that all this while you have been eating Parmesan cheese that isn’t even Parmesan!