Are you familiar with White Modenese Cow Parmigiano Reggiano? Let’s discover history and curiosities about this rare type of organic Parmigiano Reggiano cheese!
Parmigiano Reggiano is a hard cheese that is made with three simple ingredients: raw milk, calf rennet and salt.
The milk cannot be subjected to heat treatments and additives are not allowed. All the milk introduced into the dairy must comply with the Production Regulation.
One of its most interesting peculiarities concerns the fact that it is a PDO product (Protected Designation of Origin). This means that its production takes place following a strict regulation connected to the area of origin.
As soon as the milk from the evening milking arrives from the farm, it is left to rest in large vats until the morning. The next day, the milk is added to the whole milk from the morning milking and it is poured into the typical bell-shaped copper cauldrons of the dairy.
Once the cheesemaking process is complete, the cheese is laid out in long rows in the silent maturation rooms. The wheels are placed on special wooden tables for a minimum maturation time of 12 months. At this point, the Experts of the Consortium examine the wheels one by one and, after the inspection, a mark is fire-branded onto the cheeses which meet the requirements of the Protected Designation of Origin.
Parmigiano Reggiano has got two main characteristics: its shape and size. Each wheel is cylindrical and has a diameter ranging from 35 to 45 centimetres and a height of 20 to 26 centimetres. The minimum weight of each wheel should be 30 kilograms. The crust must have a pale yellow colour and the inside must be slightly lighter. Another important aspect is that it must be fragrant, delicate and tasty.
History and origin: when and where was Parmigiano Reggiano created?
Its origin dates back to the Middle Ages and, more precisely, around the 12th century.
In this period, the Benedictine and Cistercian monks from Parma and Reggio Emilia began to make hard cheese by working the milk inside large cauldrons. This was favoured by the presence of large pastures and streams.
After nine centuries, the ingredients used for Parmigiano Reggiano are always the same. The cheese is still made today in the same places and with the same ritual gestures. It is produced by master cheesemakers with fine milk from the area of origin.
There are about 330 producing dairies today, supported by about 2,800 farms supplying milk to the dairies. The law recognised their determination to preserve the cheesemaking process and the high-quality of this cheese. The Consortium has been protecting Parmigiano Reggiano for over seventy years through precise rules that are applied with a strict quality control and self-discipline.
This cheese is produced exclusively in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and a part of the provinces of Mantua and Bologna. The area is characterised by the plains, hills and mountains between two rivers, the Reno and the Po.
The main types of Parmigiano Reggiano
Parmigiano Reggiano is not all the same: there are different varieties, which differ from the milk, the type of animal feed and, finally, the maturation.
There are four main types: traditional Parmigiano Reggiano, Red Cows Parmigiano Reggiano, Brown cattle Parmigiano Reggiano and White Modenese Cow Parmigiano Reggiano.
The first type, traditional Parmigiano Reggiano, is made with milk from the black and white cows of the Friesian cattle. It is handmade and aged for at least 12 months. The whole cheesemaking process takes place in the plains.
The second type is made with milk from the cows of a native breed from Northern Italy, namely the Red Cows. The minimum ageing time for this type of cheese is 24 months.
The third type uses a more valuable raw material: the milk from the Brown cattle. The last type is made with the milk from the White Modenese Cow, which is widespread exclusively in the province of Modena.
White Modenese Cow Parmigiano Reggiano
The first information related to the existence of this particular cattle breed dates back to the 1800s.
In the period up to the mid-twentieth century, in the Modena area, cheese was produced only with this type of milk. The characteristics of this milk make it ideal for Parmigiano Reggiano cheesemaking.
It is included among the Slow Food Presidia, which have promoted a project to protect animal biodiversity.
If you want to taste this delicious cheese and see with your own eyes where it is made, we suggest you to enjoy a unique experience to discover this type of Parmigiano Reggiano.
You will have the opportunity to combine a journey through these territories with a visit to our Expert Cinzia’s Dairy. Here, the only White Modenese Cow Parmigiano Reggiano with organic certification is produced. One of the main peculiarities is that they have been producing only one wheel a day!
Discover the organic White Modenese Cow Parmigiano Reggiano on Italia Delight and book your experience directly with the producer!