2008-02-26

Parmesan Is Not Parmigiano-Reggiano


I was at the supermarket today and spotted Kraft's Four Cheese Italiano. As some people may already know, the four cheeses that make up this product are Parmesan, Mozzarella, Emmental and Provolone.

Now, I'm not the swiftest cheesehead around but last I checked Emmental is a cheese from Switzerland. Not Italy.

So it's really Kraft's Three Italian Cheeses and One Swiss Cheese.

I have no idea what the origin of the generic term Parmesan is. But it is a lower grade derivative of Parmigiano Reggiano. People who buy Parmesan think they are buying authentic Parmigiano. It's not. Parmigiano is produced in Northern Italy in the regions of Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy.

For its part, Parmesan made in North America do not regulate the quality of ingredients that go into it.

If you like cheese (and I'm not the biggest fan) here's an experiment. Go buy a small block of Parmigiano (which is pretty expensive) and then purchase a "Parmesan" (Pamesello in Europe excluding Italy) product from Kraft or some other company. Taste and compare. You will notice an immediate difference.

I'll let you guess which is the better one.

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