Parmesan—Carefree and Kosher

ParmCG93cutBefore anyone gets tangled up in terminology, allow me to clarify. “Parmesan” is an English word used to describe a hard, Italian cow’s milk cheese that is (1) either the original Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy, with its tradition and name protected by the European Union or (2) domestic cheeses that mimic the real Parmigiano Reggiano.


Logos for the Italian

If the cheese is the real deal from Italy—although we may say “Parmesan”—the label will bear the full Italian name “Parmigiano Reggiano” and the P.D.O. emblem. Americans often refer to both Italian and Italian-style cow’s milk cheeses for grating simply as Parmesan; it’s shorter and easier to say. But legally, only the Italian cheese may be called Parmigiano Reggiano.

ParmCG47.jpgThe Cheese Guy’s kosher Parmesan is an exquisite version made in the U.S. Versatile and bursting with flavor, it brightens up any dish, salad, or platter. And it comes packed with nutrition to match its great taste.

But how is it carefree? Lately “Parmesan” has taken center stage on the table as well as in the news. First, there is some kashrus concern over the original cheese from Italy, which must contain animal rennet to carry the name and P.D.O. status of Parmigiano Reggiano. Although some producers have kosher versions, it is difficult to find in the U.S.

Second is the most recent issue of over-use of cellulose in pre-grated Parmesan. (Get to know and trust your cheese source! Ask the Cheese Guy Brent Delman anything!)

ParmesanCG26The Cheese Guy’s smooth Parmesan steps in to alleviate all anxiety. This cheese is vegetarian, so there is no worry with mixing meat and dairy. It is also certified by the very reputable Orthodox Union.

Aged over two years, this Parmesan reaches its peak with a pleasantly sharp, salty, full flavor. The characteristic firm texture makes it excellent for grating. It also breaks off easily into chunks; its salted nut and caramel notes make it an interesting foil for fresh fruit and tangy, sweet cherry tomatoes.

I enjoy it for snacking, but also freshly grated for cooking. I made a simple dish of rotini pasta, black olives, mushrooms, onions, and The Cheese Guy’s Parmesan. The cheese has enough “give” to soften into a dish, though it does not become stringy like a mozzarella. A sprinkle on top adds even more depth and beauty to the dish.


My Cheese Guy fridge magnet from Kosherfest

The Cheese Guy’s Parmesan is proud to be a “hard” cheese (aged over six months…over 24 months, in fact!), and it comes in 6- to 8-ounce wedges. It is OU-D when bearing the kosher hologram. Cholov stam.

Elizabeth Bland, The Cheese Mistress

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