THE REAL PARMIGIANO
Locally cultivated grass is used to feed our Italian cows that are producing our “white gold” milk, but this is just half of the path toward our goal.
Our ultimate goal is the production of the king of cheeses that can have a Parma Black label on it and therefore, it has to come from the highest selection on the breeding, superior control on the production and greatest protection of the quality.
More than 1000 liters of milk are pumped into each copper vats, where temperature raises up to 35 °C (95 °F).
Calf rennet is added and the mixture is left to curdle for 10 minutes.
Curd is broken up into pieces the size of rice grains and temperature is raised to 55 °C (131 °F) with the most precise control of cheese-maker.
The so created compacted curd is collected in a piece of muslin (a plain weave of cotton), divided in two pieces and placed in round moulds that lend to Parmigiano Reggiano its typical and well-known round shape: the wheel.
After being cooled and dried, the moulds are opened and a plastic belt imprints numerous times the Parmigiano-Reggiano name, the plant’s number, month and year of production is put around the cheese and the metal form is buckled tight again.
The wheel is placed into a brine bath to absorb salt for 3 weeks and then transferred to the aging rooms on wooden shelves that can host about 4,000 total wheels per aisle.
Each wheel is cleaned manually every seven days and turned multiple times during the seasoning.
After 12 months, in Italy, a formal control is exercised by the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese Consorzio, which was created by a governmental decree.
Each wheel must meet strict criteria early in the aging process, when the cheese is still soft and creamy, to merit the official seal and be placed in storage for aging.
A Consorzio master grader taps each wheel to identify undesirable cracks and voids within the wheel; only the wheels that pass the test are fire branded on the rind with the Parmigiano Reggiano logo and only the cheese of those wheels can be called Parmigiano.
We have proudly preserved Parmigiano-Reggiano’s taste, aroma, density and noble aspects through the centuries not having surrendered to the temptation of simplifying functions and activities. Cheese masters continue in their effort proudly making our king of cheeses with rigorous centuries-old methods and application of the technique that are the result of special vocations and matured experiences.
Black Parma is the result of an end to end process whose final Black Parma logo is applied on certified Parmigiano Reggiano wheels passed through highest selection, superior control and greatest quality protection.