HOW TO MAKE PARMIGIANO REGGIANO
Every day, the milk from the evening milking is left to rest until the morning in large tanks, in which the fatty part emerges spontaneously, destined for the production of butter.
Together with the whole milk from the morning milking, which has just arrived from the farms, the skimmed milk in the evening is then poured into the typical upside-down bell-shaped copper boilers, with the addition of rennet and whey starter, rich in natural lactic ferments obtained from the previous day’s processing.
The milk coagulates in about ten minutes.
The curd that is presented is fragmented into tiny granules thanks to an ancient tool called “SPINO”.
It is at this point that the fire enters the scene, for a cooking that reaches 52 degrees centigrade, at the end of which the caseous granules precipitate to the bottom of the boiler forming a single mass.
After about fifty minutes, the cheese mass is extracted, with skilful movements, by the cheesemaker.
Subsequently the mass is cut into two equal parts
and wrapped in the typical cloth, the cheese is placed in a mold which will give it its definitive shape.
With the application of a casein plaque, each wheel is marked with a unique and progressive number that will accompany it just like an identity card.
After a few hours, a special branding band engraves the month and year of production on the wheel, the serial number that distinguishes the dairy and the unmistakable dot writing PARMIGIANO REGGIANO on the entire circumference of the wheels
that after a few days
are immersed in a saturated solution of water and salt.
It is a salting by absorption that in just under a month concludes the production cycle and opens the no less fascinating seasoning.
This is the phase that requires the most patience because at least 12 months of seasoning are required before all the wheels can be examined by the “expert-beaters” of the Consortium for the Protection of Parmigiano Reggiano.
Only those that pass the qualitative selection will receive the indelible branding on the rind
and can continue the seasoning.