The Parmesan Cheese it is on everyone's lips, lately, and also in the mouth of many, of those who love its flavor and who recognize its qualities. And there are many. We put it on pasta, for example, and on risottos, but there are many ways to use it even in a more original way. The time has come, if you have not already done so, to explore the full potential of Parmesan Cheese, also to vary your diet and above all to enjoy tasting new tastes, experimenting them, inventing them, in order to keep our palate trained and never get bored.
How to eat Parmigiano Reggiano: seasoning
There are several degrees of seasoning for this cheese that are distinguished not only for the flavor and which can be more or less suitable for a certain type of gastronomic coupling. Parmesan aged up to 22 months, therefore almost two years, is often used for aperitifs. It still tastes a lot of milk, in this case, and can remind you of yogurt with some vegetable notes. We can see it served in association with grapes or honey, or even with raw vegetables such as celery and cherry tomatoes. This type of finger food is accompanied by a white but dry wine.
The parmesan which matures for 24 months has a stronger flavor and richer in aromas, it can recall citrus fruits or dried fruit, it remains rather sweet but has character. It can be perfect for giving flavor and verve to soups and vegetable soups, minestrone and creams. Up to 30 months we have a Parmesan Cheese which is often used in the preparation of main courses, meat or fish, generally carpaccio, but also salads and fresh vegetables can benefit from its presence. A structured red wine is suitable for a more courageous flavor.
Then there is the very old Parmigiano Reggiano, which has almost three years of aging (30-36 months). The flavor is increasingly decisive and can be enhanced if combined withBalsamic Vinegar of Modena and Reggio Emilia Dop, or with chestnut honey or eucalyptus honey. Even the jams pthey marry well with this flavor, preferably red Tropea onions or oranges.
How to eat Vacche Rosse Parmigiano Reggiano has a very delicate taste, it goes well with red and structured wines or whites such as passito. At the table we can see it served with cold cuts, mustards and jams or on tortelli, ravioli and typical cappelletti. In Emilia Romagna it is served together with passatelli, a typical dish of the region, or with soups, including that of Parmigiano Vacche Rosse.
Parmigiano Reggiano and wine
We have already mentioned some Parmesan - wine pairing, let's see better how to manage this association that can really tell a lot about our tastes and our degree of refinement. Depending on its aging, a different wine is needed that enhances the flavor, more or less strong, more or less delicate and fruity. It is also important to understand whether this cheese will be served in pieces, cubes, flakes or grated. White wines like Franciacorta and Vernaccia di San Gimignano, also excellent with soups or first courses on which Parmesan has been sprinkled.
If we are faced with a carpaccio, the parmesan is in petals and the wine to be used is a full-bodied and structured red. If we prefer whites, we need those fruity and with character, sparkling reds like the classic Lambrusco can also be fine.
Both dried and fresh fruit are perfect with Parmesan which enhances the flavor. The fresh fruit that best combines with Parmesan are pears and grapes, but it's not bad at all even with apples or strawberries, in summer. Moving on to dried fruit, walnuts and hazelnuts are fine but the real delicacy is cheese with dried figs.
Parmesan and honey
Honey, sweet or not, with this cheese forms a excellent aperitif of extreme simplicity and for this reason it must be prepared with great attention to detail. One can reason by contrast or by agreement. In the first case, an attempt is made to combine two foods that do not have the same characteristics, while in the second, the harmony of the palate is sought. It is always important that there is no overwhelming prevalence of one flavor over another.
With slightly seasoned cheeses you need a honey that is not too bitter and has a delicate taste while with Parmesan aged for over 24 months you can also use a honey like that of chestnut or orange. A honey that can be paired with Parmigiano Reggiano is the rich and structured mountain millefiori.
Honey is a food that is often combined with cheeses, not only with Parmesan Cheese. Depending on the aroma, it is combined with it differently. The citrus honey, for example, it is very fragrant and has a rather intense, slightly acidic flavor. It goes well with semi-aged pecorino, sheep ricotta and caciocavallo. Chestnut honey is one of those with the strongest and most persistent flavor and aroma, it goes well with very mature Parmesan but also with caciotte, fossa cheese or Raschera DOP. Acacia honey is lighter and more fruity, reminiscent of vanilla and requires medium-aged cheeses such as pecorino romano, provolone and Piedmontese Toma. We finish with honeydew honey, with its intense and persistent flavor that recalls smoked cheeses and semi-hard cheeses.