Parmigiano-Reggiano is a hard, dry cheese made from skimmed or partially skimmed cow’s milk. It is aged at least two years, and has a pale golden rind and a rich, sharp flavor.
It takes its name from the beautiful town of Parma. The words Parmigiano-Reggiano stenciled on the rind mean that the cheese was produced in Italy in the towns of Bologna, Mantura, Modena, or Parma. If you see the name “Parmesan”, it is simply a different product.
The cheese is aromatic and versatile; I use it as a grating cheese for pasta, soups, and stuffings. I also use it on baked vegetables, and often serve it in chunks with a drizzle of balsamic and a little seasonal fruit.
Aged Parmigiano-Reggiano is even more special, but I save that for special occasions and holidays.