No less than 600 liters of milk are needed to make a single cheese grind. He is proud of Parma, of course, but also of Reggio, Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua. Religiously aged in the cellar, Italian cheese is the subject of all attention. Thus, the grindstone is not simply sliced, but opened with an almond-shaped knife whose peculiarity is to have one side thinner than the other. Thus, the wheel is incised one to two centimeters deep and can then open.
It should be noted that the artisanal side of the production of this nugget is the true distinguishing feature of this cheese. Not a master cheesemaker who wants to! First of all, the used milk must come from the Parmesan production area. Used raw, it does not suddenly undergo any heat treatment and any additive is formally prohibited. It can therefore be said that Parmesan is a 100% natural product.
So two milks two milks
To make Parmigiano-Reggiano, we use the milk of two milks, milk delivered separately to the cheese factory. First, there is the evening milking that will rest in large basins throughout the night. This will promote spontaneous outgrowth of fat on the surface. Skimmed, the milk will then be added to the milk from the morning milking and then transferred to copper cauldrons in the shape of an inverted bell.
To these two milks of different milks is added the leaven, the cultivation of native lactic ferments, obtained from the manufacture of the cheese of the previous day. From these two milks, which have a different fat content, a semi-fat cheese is obtained.
Heated to 33 ° C, the milk is supplemented with natural calf pressure, rich in enzymes. It then takes 12 to 15 minutes for the milk to coagulate. The curd obtained is then broken manually using a spinner, a sharp blade tool. Thus, grain-sized granules are obtained, ready to be cooked. This cooking will reach up to 55 °.
Off the heat, the curd grains will fall to the bottom of the cauldrons to form a single mass.
After an hour of rest, it is extracted through an extremely deft twist and divided in two. In fact, each tank gives birth to two “twin” wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano. This mass of curd is then wrapped in a linen cloth, then placed in a mold called a fascia. It is lightly pressed to facilitate the extraction of whey.
Finally, during the molding, the plate of casein is applied which includes a unique and progressive alphanumeric code used to identify the product, tell an identity card.
On the evening of the first day, a specific plastic matrix is inserted between the fascia and the cheese, which, when applied to the crust in formation, engraves the other original marks on the circumference of the grindstone. Of a writing recognizable among all, since always in dotted lines, the famous Parmigiano-Reggiano, the registration number of the cheese factory, the month and the year of production are affixed.
A few days later the salting begins by immersing the wheels in a saturated salt solution, a period of 20 to 25 days. Only three ingredients are needed to make Parmigiano-Reggiano: milk, rennet and salt.
The grindstones then make their way to the refining rooms where they will rest for a minimum of 12 months. Les meules which presents us with enough quality criteria are compatible. Distinctive marks and dotted writing are removed by mechanically removing a few millimeters of crust.
In addition, the extra / export mark can be affixed to grinders with more than 18 months of aging, at the voluntary request of the cheese holder. This is an additional guarantee on the correct evolution of the cheese’s maturation. Thus, this marking system allows you to have even more guarantee to recognize the authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano.