The ageing of Parmigiano Reggiano: the value of time
Parmigiano Reggiano has an ancient history, involving techniques but also passion. It is an outstanding Emilian and Italian product, which meets the highest certified quality standards. It is versatile and full of nuances, which make it suitable for various uses and applications in the food industry and in catering.
Time is the master of flavour: it is the ageing, the most critical phase of the entire Parmigiano Reggiano production process, that gives the cheese its typical organoleptic properties and its special grainy texture. After processing, the whole Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses are placed in the maturing room, arranged in long rows and left to rest for the entire duration of the refining process on wooden tables supported by a metal structure (known as the “scalera”).
This process, carried out in an environment at a controlled temperature of 18 degrees and around 82% humidity, helps dry the outside of the cheese, forming a natural and completely edible rind, while also helping the inside to obtain the characteristic grainy structure, which can be more or less crumbly depending on the maturing time.
The minimum ageing period is 12 months, the longest of all PDO cheeses, at the end of which the whole cheeses are checked by experts from the Protection Consortium. If they are suitable, they continue ageing for 24, 30 or over 40 months.
• 12 – 18 MONTHS: this is the youngest Parmigiano Reggiano, with a slight aroma of milk. It is a particularly versatile ageing process, which is good for cutting into cubes, flakes or shavings for garnishing cold dishes or for packaging as single-portion snacks.
• 20 – 24 MONTHS: it is at around 24 months that Parmigiano Reggiano reaches the right maturing stage to express its typical characteristics – crumbly and melts in the mouth, with a moderately intense and flavourful taste, the perfect balance between sweet and savoury. This ageing profile makes Parmigiano Reggiano perfect as an ingredient for adding flavour to fillings, first courses or au gratin vegetable side dishes.
• 30 – 36 MONTHS: after at least 30 months, Parmigiano Reggiano becomes more crumbly and grainy. The cheese has aromas of nut and spices like nutmeg. This type of aged Parmigiano Reggiano can be used to add a bold flavour to sauces and fillings or paired with balsamic vinegar and jams on buffets or to accompany aperitifs.
• OVER 40 MONTHS: over 40 months, the flavour of Parmigiano Reggiano becomes particularly bold and intense, with a strong grainy texture. It has a very intense aroma with fragrances of spices and smokiness, which make it an ingredient with a bold flavour or the real star of the show for aperitifs.
To meet all the needs of the food industry and the catering sector, we offer Parmigiano Reggiano in various ages (12, 24, 30, 36 or 40 months), in various formats (bags, trays and single-serving sachets) and in a wide variety of cuts (grated, flakes, cubes, strings, ribbons, shavings and matchsticks).
The excellence of our Parmigiano Reggiano is always guaranteed by our full control over the entire supply chain, from milk collection to artisan production on the Reggio Emilia hillside at our two cheese factories, the Colline di Selvapiana e Canossa Cheese Factory and the Colline del Cigarello e Canossa Cheese Factory, right up to packaging of the end product.
Discover our full range of Parmigiano Reggiano, with all the available ages, formats and cuts, and find the best solutions for your needs.