How Is Parmesan Cheese Made?

Answer

The parmesan cheese is traditionally made by mixing whole morning milk with skimmed milk from the previous evening. The milk is heated and mixed with rennet to form curds, which are pressed in a cheese mould. True Parmesan cheese is moulded with a stencil, indicating where and when it was made. The cheese is soaked in a brine bath and then aged for a minimum of two years before being graded for sale.
1 Additional Answer
Under Italian law only cheese produced in the following provinces my be labeled 'Parmigiano-Reggiano', Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and Bologna (all in Emilia-Romagna), and Mantova (in Lombardia),Italy.
Making Parmesan is long and drawn out process, which starts with raw cows milk and mixed with naturally skimmed milk of the previous mornings milking, this results in a part skim mixture. The milk is then pumped into copper-lined vats. Next the Starter whey is added and the temperature is raised to 33-35C. Rennet is then added to to allow the milk to curdle, which takes 10-12 minutes. Then the curd is broken up mechanically into pieces the size of a grain of rice. Now the temperature is raised to 55C. The curd is allowed to settle for 45-60 minutes. The compacted curd is then collected in two pieces using a cheese cloth, and placed into forms. These forms are stainless steel that are pulled tight with a spring loaded buckle, that allows the cheese to retain its wheel shape. Two days later, the buckle is released and a plastic imprinting belt with the name Parmigiano-Reggiano, the plant number,and the production date is placed around the wheel and the buckle is again tightened. The imprint takes hold in about a day and the cheese is soaked in a salt water bath for 20-30 days. The cheese is then transferred to the aging room where is will sit for 12-36 months, while being turned every seven days. The longer it's allowed to age the higher the quality.
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