Past plain-old Parmesan
Parmigiano-Reggiano: Grab it, grate it, savor it
Web posted at: 9:18 a.m. EDT (1318 GMT)
(CNN) -- For some, cheese is like wine. Not just something to top your pizza, but something to ponder with complex flavors and velvety mouth melt.
If you want to begin to expand your cheese palate beyond ordinary orange wedges or processed squares, Steven Jenkins, author of "Cheese Primer"(Workman), suggests buying a chuck of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
The cheese is the real stuff, not just Parmesan to shake out of a can on top of spaghetti. It's flavor is deep and complex with tinges of nut, cinnamon or nutmeg.
"Cut into nuggets, pop in your mouth, let it melt on the tongue," he says. "Enjoy it with a big red wine."
Or better yet, splash cubes with balsamic vinegar for "primitive, rustic cocktails."
In a dish, he recommends curls of Parmigiano-Reggiano on a salad of arugula, grapefruit sections, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. On pasta, it should be grated and sprinkled over the top liberally.
Parmesan cheese is made in several countries, including the United States, but Parmigiano-Reggiano is made only in a region around Parma in northwestern Italy.
It is a hard, grainy cheese with a low moisture content that is aged about two years. The cheese is cut off of large wheels with purple markings on the rind. It is pricey but full of flavor. A little will go a long way in taste.
Made from skinned milk, Parmigiano-Reggiano has a fat content around 30 percent, relatively low for cheese. An ounce has 110 to 130 calories and is a good source of calcium.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is commonly sold in cheese shops of supermarkets and specialty food markets. Grate the cheese yourself before using rather than buying pre-grated, because the cheese can lose flavor quickly.
Raymond Graves, deli manager for eatZi's Market & Bakery in Atlanta says wrap the cheese slightly loosely in aluminium foil and it should keep for months in the refrigerator. If surface mold develops, just cut it off, and the remaining cheese is OK to eat.
Although the cheese's rind is edible, it is very thick. Graves recommends adding it to soups for flavoring.
Dried smoked chiles add depth to any dish
LATEST FOOD STORIES:
Texas cattle quarantined after violation of mad-cow feed ban
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.