Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

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A variety of Parmesan cheese, considered to be the best of the Parmesan cheeses, that is aged for at least 24 months. It is a variety of cheese that can only be produced in specific provinces of Italy in order to be labeled as Parmigiano-Reggiano. Generally used in a grated form, this fragrant cheese provides the most flavor when freshly grated. It is yellow in color and has a tough, yellow to gold colored rind that helps to keep the cheese fresh. The cheese has a delicate, but rich and strong, nutty flavor within a superior texture that is grainy and somewhat brittle when aged, but not too dry. Parmigiano-Reggiano makes a good cooking cheese because it does not become runny or rubbery when melted.

To store, wrap the cheese in foil and store it in the driest section of the refrigerator. If it dries out, wrap the cheese with a moist paper towel and foil for a day. The cheese can remain stored for a month or so before the flavor deteriorates rapidly. Substitute Italian Grana Padano when Parmigiano Reggiano is not available.

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