The reason why you aren't probably getting the true taste of parmesan cheese is that it's not authentic. They can be promoted in a way that makes them look like high-quality cheese.
But how much truth does it hold?
To know whether you are buying the best parmesan cheese, you need to know the various types and the difference between true Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) and Parmesan, which is sourced from the US.
Only then can you figure out why the Parmesan cheese you bought from the store fails to suffice your standards.
Here, I have compiled a list of 10 Parmesan cheese, including Parmigiano-Reggiano and other Parmesan cheese types. From here, you can ensure getting the finest ones.
Moreover, I have outlined every trivial to significant information you need to know for a broader comprehension.
Kraft Parmesan Grated Cheese
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Milano's Parmesan Cheese Jars
4.5 out of 5
4 out of 5
Parmesan Style Shreds
4.5 out of 5
Different Types of Parmesan Cheese and Their Uses
The only cheese I knew growing up was the Parmesan cheese, and that was the end of the world for me.
But is that it? Nope! Reality is miles apart.
There are mainly seven of them: Parmesan, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Parmesan powder, shredded Parmesan, Grana Padano, pecorino Romano, and lastly, asiago.
They are all similar to Parmesan but just not the authentic Parmesan. The only authentic Parmesan is the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Let's get to know each of them with graphic detail.
Now, what is Parmesan if Parmigiano-Reggiano is the real deal? Well, it's also cheese, but that doesn't necessarily belong to the authentic Parmesan family.
Anything that is labeled as only Parmesan is simply a cheese made of cow's milk and possesses a really hard, brittle rind. About the texture, it is granular. See, I know you probably think Parmesan should come from Italy too. With all honesty, no! It's not bound to come from Italy like the authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano.
The cheese you buy called "Parmesan" is a mere replication of it.
You don't need to think it tastes bad because it doesn't. I just want you to know the difference so that no one can fool you, and at times you can talk like a cheese snob like me.
Any soup and sauces recipe can involve a good deal of parmesan cheese, such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, omelets, fondues, pizzas, sandwiches, souffles, au gratins, etc.
It's called the king of Italian cheese, and it's almost like a living thing because of the way it's nurtured and distributed. This is made with the highest care, and it should be aged for at least twelve months.
You can only vouch for its authenticity when you legitimately know that it arrived from two distinct regions of Italy.
In any circumstances, if it's shipped from somewhere else and you are told that it's "authentic," then you better not buy it.
Its authenticity should meet certain criteria and requirements, and when it's sourced from anywhere other than those specific places, it can't be deemed as Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Now, let's talk about the process it undergoes to ensure genuineness. After 12 months of aging, an expert called the Battitore examines each block of cheese with a specialized hammer.
They put all their focus on the ones that stem from the wheel of cheese and dictate whether the cheese has aged appropriately or not.
Let me tell you that "each" wheel of cheese goes through this evaluation process, and it must pass the inspection. Once it's done, it's branded with a government-regulated certification. The certification mark is placed on the rind, and it's necessary to inhibit any sort of fabrication.
So, when you buy Parmesan cheese labeled as Parmigiano-Reggiano, and there's no certification marking stenciled on it, don't even bother buying it. It's not authentic. If anything, it’s not Parmigiano-Reggiano.
That's the price of it!
Always ensure buying the ones that come in wedges and have the certification mark on the rind. It's then shredded, grated, and eaten if you please.
In every sense, this is the true Parmesan, and nothing can hold a candle against it. It has a sharp, complex, and nutty flavor with a kick of strong savory taste. And the texture should be slightly gritty.
Don't think that it's not available in other countries except those two areas in Italy. They are produced from those places to different countries, and later they are delivered to you with the brand name.
But it will always have the verification of being sourced from those areas.
I almost forgot to mention the names of these areas. It’s actually in the name “Parmigiano-Reggiano; land between Parma and Reggio Emilia. These are two neighboring towns located in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy.
The first part came from the word Parma and the second part came from the word Reggio. In present days authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano is manufactured from Parma, Reggio, Emilia, Modena, and parts of Mantua and Bologna.
You can grate it over various pasta dishes or stir it into soups and risottos. You can also savor it as it is if that's your thing. To be honest, the sky is the limit. There are hundreds and thousands of recipes available online where Parmigiano-Reggiano is used. So, it's all up to you, how you want to enjoy it.
Parmesan Powder and Shredded Parmesan
As you can already guess, Parmesan powder and shredded Parmesan are named after the way they are served, stored, and sold. If you buy a piece of Parmesan and shred it, you have shredded Parmesan, while for parmesan powder, you take a block of Parmesan and extract it in a powdery texture. That's the sum of it.
If you wanna add some extra flavor to your salad dressing, then you can use parmesan powder in it. There are also other options such as meatballs, grilled chicken cheese sandwiches, popcorn seasoning, etc.
As for shredded Parmesan, you can use it in any pasta dish or any kind of pizzas and salad. I like shredded parmesan cheese in literally anything I eat.
If you give me a simple plain bread, I would probably finish it with a good amount of shredded cheese and not even complain. So, it's on you mostly. And to explore more, you can always look for recipes.
It is almost identical to Parmigiano-Reggiano as it has a golden color, hard rind, and comes from cow's milk. The differences reside in the places they come from. Unlike Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grana Padano doesn't revolve around only two distinct places of Italy.
Yes, it is an authentic Italian cheese, but the areas it's manufactured from are much broader, and it doesn't require years of aging. Give them 9 months, and they are good to go. About the flavor, it's less sweet and more accessible.
The price is relatively less too. It's your second choice after Parmigiano-Reggiano. So, now you know what to opt for when you can't find the authentic Parmesan.
A wide range of food such as salads and pasta can be devoured with grated Grana Padano cheese. It melts so easily; thus, it's always an ideal option to cook. The Grana Padano is the one to go for when you prefer a delicate flavor over a strong one.
It's also quite similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano, but it's produced from sheep's milk instead of cow's milk. It's a great substitute for cheese made from cows' milk when you are sensitive to it.
Pecorino Romano cheese is another authentic Italian cheese, and it's way better than the grated Parmesan you buy from stores. You would barely (not talking about the experts, of course!) find any difference in the texture, the aging process, and the rind as it follows quite the similar route as Parmigiano-Reggiano.
It needs 5 to 8 months to get ready for delivery. Pecorino Romano can be produced in Lazio, Sardinia, and Tuscan areas of Italy that are far from traditional northern regions where authentic Parmesan cheese is made.
About the flavor, it is tangier and saltier than the Parmigiano-Reggiano because of sheep's milk. They are vastly accessible and can be found at any local food shop.
It is savored well when it's grated and melts into any kind and any number of pasta dishes within a few seconds. This is mostly used for pasta and pizzas.
Lastly, you have Asiago cheese which is also very similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano, but the main difference dwells in the texture.
While Parmigiano-Reggiano is semi-hard, this one is semi-soft. It's delicious, creamier, and softer and can be an ideal substitute when you fail to find Parmigiano-Reggiano.
As this cheese doesn't regulate in terms of DOP constitutions, you will find it pretty much anywhere.
Most people slice it and use it on their sandwiches. You can also melt it on top of pizza or casseroles. And a pasta dish is always open to embrace any type of cheese. So here you go!
Top 10 Best Parmesan Cheese Reviews in 2022
Here is the list of the top 10 Parmesan cheese. I have enlisted each product based on its quality, taste, use, reliability, and customer ratings. Hopefully, it will help you conclude. Let's wade through them one by one.
1. Kraft Parmesan Grated Cheese
At the top of the list, you have this Parmesan grated cheese from Kraft.
It's the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the whole wide world. And for a company that has 150 years of history, ensuring top-notch quality and bringing transformative ideas and products to the table is mandatory. This Parmesan grated cheese is one of their most popular and best creations.
It comes in an 8z shaker bottle so that you can easily sprinkle the Parmesan on your desired food item. This pre-grated parmesan cheese saves you the trouble and helps you use it instantly without any fuss of grating or mincing.
The sharp and tangy taste profile enhances the overall taste of your go-to meal. If you are a fan of Italian-style parmesan cheese, then there's no way you don't like it.
Furthermore, it is made from premium quality milk to achieve a rich texture and creamy flavor. This works good as a taste enhancer when you complement it with your pizzas, pasta, salads, and seafood.
With 20 calories per servings, this grated cheese transforms boring food into an interesting and scrumptious one.
The hint of nuttiness and saltiness will make anyone a fan of it. It's the best Parmesan cheese for you and your family.
- Uses cellulose powder and potassium sorbate to prevent caking and secure the flavor, respectively
- It comes in a shaker bottle for convenient use
- To save the prep time, it is pre-grated
- Offers the sharp and tangy flavor to your desired meals
- Italian style parmesan cheese for perfecting your pizzas, pasta, and salads
2. Belgioioso Parmesan Cheese
If you haven't ever heard of Belgioioso, then let me tell you that it has been specializing in all-natural, award-winning Italian cheeses since 1979. They render various types of Parmesan, including the Asiago Parmesan cheese.
What impresses me right off the bat is the fact that they are real Italian cheese made in the USA. This parmesan cheese comes pre-portioned and is aged for 10 months.
You will receive them inside a 5 oz plastic container with the brand name on it. It's crafted with high-quality ingredients, and the cheesemakers of Belgioioso examines, and hand turns every wheel of cheese to ensure a consistent aging process.
Anyone would be instantly attracted to the tantalizing aroma and the sweet, nutty flavor. In most American-Italian restaurants, you would see the chefs using this Parmesan grated cheese on your salads and pasta.
The texture is so versatile that it easily harmonizes with any dish. You can try it with any Italian recipe that includes parmesan cheese such as lasagna, meatballs, pizza, spaghetti, alfredo sauce, etc.
This parmesan cheese has 20 calories per serving, and it's the best-grated parmesan cheese you will ever come across.
- Crafted with natural, high-quality ingredients
- The cheese is pre-grated; thus, you can save a lot of time
- Stays fresh for three weeks after refrigerating
- Fluffy texture with a sweet, nutty flavor
- Versatile texture, blends with almost any dish
3. Milano's Parmesan Cheese Jars
If you want to cut down on your sodium intake, you can try this imported Parmesan cheese from Milano since it contains lower sodium than most grated cheese.
For Milano, cheesemaking has been a part of their family heritage for hundreds of years. They started their business in southern Italy and then migrated to America with their cheesemaking culture.
This company has been family-owned and handled for over 39 years now, and to date, they strive to provide the highest level of quality to their customers.
This Parmesan cheese comes in a 16-ounce shaker jar for effortless application, and since it's finely pre-grated, you don't have to waste your time in the grating. It's made of 100% cows' milk and aged for a minimum of 10 months.
The aging guarantees the rich nutty flavor that enhances the taste of your everyday snacks. With any Italian dish, this grated cheese goes perfectly well.
Be it mac n cheese or a whole plate of salad; this parmesan cheese incorporates the rich note of robust nutty flavor that you love. You will have 25 calories per serving, and it has only 2% of total fat and 0 sugar.
- Low in sodium
- Shaker jar for convenient use
- Made of 100% cow's milk
- Strong, nutty flavor, soft Parmesan cheese
- It can be used in any Italian style dish
4. Violife, Wedge Just Like Parmesan
While non-vegetarians can broaden their food horizon, vegetarians often miss out on a lot of things because of the scarcity of specialized vegan items that are dairy-free.
If you are a vegetarian and you want to experience the fun of adding grated cheese to your go-to meal, then try Violife's wedge Parmesan. As the name implies, it comes in a wedge that can be grated easily with any typical grating tool.
Usually, hard cheese alternatives are very rare to find, but Violife's vegan Parmesan wedge bagged immense popularity not only in the US but worldwide. It's one of the top cheese brands across the world because of the way they ensure their quality and distribution.
They strategically shaped the wedge in a manner that simplifies the whole grating process. This wedge parmesan cheese is made with a very modest amount of non-dairy ingredients. Yet it has 80 calories per serving and 8grams of carbs.
The fine part about this cheese is that it smells like dairy Parmesan cheese, and when you grate it, you notice identical results to dairy Parmesan.
Just for the sake of experimenting with something new, I have once switched to vegan Parmesan. And after trying multiple plant-based kinds of cheese, I realized that Violife is honest about the branding.
It says just like Parmesan, and believe it or not, it does taste and smells like it. Yes, not the same, but very similar.
Now, another thing I want you to know is when you melt this cheese, it doesn't retain the texture, so I would suggest having it grated or shredded. You can use this on your veg nachos, pasta, pizzas, and salads.
- Made with non-dairy ingredients, gluten-free
- Ideal vegan substitute for dairy Parmesan
- Have 80 calories per count and is rich in vitamin B12
- The wedge shape is perfect for grating
- Delicious taste blends in any dish to enhance the flavor
5. Parmesan Style Shreds by 365 by Whole Foods Market
Here you have another vegan Parmesan-style cheese from 365 by the Whole Foods Market. They have a variety of non-dairy products, and all of them tastes delectable and very identical to non-veg items.
They replicate the original taste really well that you will fail to tell the difference.
Moreover, they choose high-quality ingredients to make their products, and they come at a very reasonable price. Now, this Parmesan-style cheese comes in a 5-ounce plastic container and is shredded.
Since they are pre-shredded, you can save a lot of prep time. It uses modified potato starch, expeller-pressed coconut oil, water, sea salt, natural flavors, olive extract, etc.
There are no artificial fillers, preservatives, or sugar added to manipulate the taste. It has 28 calories per serving and only 1% fat and 0% cholesterol. Also, if you want to avoid sodium consumption, you would be glad to know that it has only 3% sodium and 0% protein.
As you can see, it uses very minimum yet high-quality ingredients without any involvement of dairy products. You can add this to your regular vegan-diet routine for a healthy snack time.
Use it on your pizzas, pasta, salads, and other vegan items, and see how it takes the taste to a whole new level.
- The shredded cheese texture is very similar to actual Parmesan
- 100% free of dairy products
- 28 calories per servings and 0% cholesterol
- It comes pre-shredded to save prep time
- You can savor it with a plethora of dishes
6. Organic Valley Shredded Parmesan Cheese
If you are looking for gluten-free, kosher certified shredded Parmesan cheese that includes vegetable enzymes, this Parmesan cheese from Organic Valley is the ideal choice for you.
It's been an organic food brand since 1988, and it's one of the world's largest organic consumers brands. They claim to distribute products made of all-natural ingredients.
Instead of taking the easy way and using persistent chemicals, artificial hormones, and synthetic ingredients, they resort to many generations of farming wisdom.
And that is why this shredded parmesan cheese is one of my favorites.
It arrives in a 4-ounce plastic tub in a pre-shredded profile to save prep time. For instant food making and flavor-enhancing, this can be a suitable pick.
Since organic valley made this cheese with their pasture-raised milk and aged them for 300 days, you get the strong, nutty flavor.
No wonder it tastes exactly like the classic Italian Parmesan cheese. The secret confides in the aging, undoubtedly.
Also, the fresh and tempting aroma is enough to verify the authenticity of this product.
It's directly shredded from the block of Parmesan cheese to ensure genuineness. Add this best-shredded parmesan cheese to your regular salads, pizzas, and pasta to bring a new zing of taste.
- No gluten and GMO free
- Ideal for sprinkling on lasagna
- Adds a deep nutty punch to pasta
- Pre-shredded cheese for faster meal prep
- Aged for 300 days to ensure the True Italian cheese taste
7. BelGioioso Parmesan Cheese, All-Natural
Heres another Parmesan cheese from BelGioioso. But the difference here is it comes in a wedge instead of pre-grated.
For those who prefer wedge Parmesan cheese because they last longer and can be minced and grated according to preference, this one is a great choice.
It's made with fresh, all-natural ingredients with a dash of local milk. Just like the BelGioioso grated Parmesan cheese, this one is also subjected to an artisanal aging process.
The outcome is noticeable in the taste as it has a nutty, firm, and hard texture with a sweet, fruity flavor.
The aging process makes a big difference in the taste as longer-aged Parmesan cheese tastes ten times better than the ones that are aged for only a few months or the ones that are artificially made.
It offers unparalleled nutritional benefits too by offering 10 grams of powerful protein per serving. You can pair this Parmesan with a myriad of soft cheese, wine, and almonds to assemble a gourmet cheese platter for the guests.
If you are a fan of Caesar salad, consider using some minced BelGioioso Parmesan cheese on it for added flavor and texture. This cheese goes a long way no matter how you want to savor it.
- Crafted with fresh local milk, salt, and enzymes
- Aged for more than 10 months in special caves
- Hard texture with a sweet, nutty/fruity flavor profile
- It comes in a wedge so that it can be served as per your liking
- Ideally melts into soups
8. Frank and Sal Parmigiano Reggiano
When you want the authentic Italian Parmesan cheese, it better be the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
And you know it's authentic when it is sourced directly from the distinct areas of Italy and has the marking on the rind.
Frank and Sal is an Italian market brand that distributes the best Parmesan Reggiano cheese to your doorsteps within 3 days. They claim to offer the same trendy Italian products without the trendy price tag. Meaning you get authentic Italian products at a competitive price.
This Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese comes in a wedge-like cut that is directly sliced from the wheel. Every cut of the wheel has the Certification marking on it so that you can verify the authenticity.
This sliced Parmesan cheese is available in three sizes, starting from 1 pound to 3 pounds. Unlike most of the sellers who cater to cheese in a pre-packaged way, Frank and Sal ensure to cut and vacuum-seal the cheese the day you place an order.
You are receiving a freshly cut Parmigiano-Reggiano from the wheel. It's then packed in a reusable cooler with ice to keep it fresh on the way to delivery.
Just like any Parmigiano-Reggiano, this one tastes exactly the same. You get the sharp, complex, and nutty flavor that is impossible to find in any other Parmesan except Parmigiano-Reggiano.
It is aged 24 months, and every seven days, the cheese wheels are cleaned manually with a special machine to retain their true essence. You can have it shredded, grated, or shave the skin to pair it with any dish you desire.
- True Italian Parmesan
- Freshly cut from the wheel and vacuum sealed the day you order
- Aged for 24 months
- It has the infamous nutty flavor that complements just about any dish
- Not pre-portioned so that you can cut it or shred it the way you like
9. La Ferme Parmesan Cheese
Here you have one of the healthiest Parmesan cheeses sourced from Auroville, India. The brand is called La Ferme. They offer Parmesan made of cow's milk, salt, vegetarian enzymes, and seasoning culture with no added preservatives, synthetic flavors, or artificial colors.
This Parmesan cheese works wonders to adorn your homemade dish with a whiff of new flavor and texture. It comes in a thick cheese slice with visible crystals on it.
The crystals signify that it has been aged well and contain the most delectable flavor. La Ferme ages their cheese for at least 6 months so that you receive the desired nutty flavor and hard texture.
They use a conventional manufacturing process to ensure the authentic texture and taste. As a result, you get a guaranteed natural balance of vitamins, natural milk fat, and proteins. The outstanding part is the natural milk fat that bestows it with a unique characteristic.
You can grate this cheese on your preferred meals, or you can shave off the skins in thin batches and top off your sandwiches and burgers with it. Also, you can melt the cheese into soups or cheese fondues.
- Made of cow's milk and all-natural ingredients
- No added preservatives, artificial flavor, or colors
- Extra hard texture with a rich nutty flavor
- It can be minced and grated the way you like
- Aged for a minimum of 6 months
10. Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Lastly, you have another authentic Italian cheese from the Parmigiano Reggiano store. Overall, it's a good Parmesan cheese made out of unpasteurized cow's milk. The cows are raised in the regions of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and parts of the Bologna and Mantua territories.
This is how you know it is imported directly from Italy. It is aged approximately 18 to 20 months for increased flavor and texture. The milk that goes into the making constantly stays under observation to maintain the quality.
No preservatives or harmful chemicals are added to enhance the flavor, as the rich taste of cow's milk is enough to give you the nutty flavor.
Once it's ready, they freshly cut the cheese from the wheels and wrap them manually.
The cheese experts go through each wheel and inspect their readiness. This Gourmet cheese can be paired with an array of Italian dishes as well as handmade meals.
You can add this to your cheese board next time you host a party or guests come over. Moreover, for adding depth to your pasta and pizzas, a good deal of Parmigiano-Reggiano always plays a vital role.
- It arrives in a 32-ounce wedge with the marking on the rind
- Made from unpasteurized cow's milk
- Aged for 18 to 20 months to reach the desired flavor
- Delectable, hard, and nutty taste
- Freshly cut from the wheel and packed by the experts
Parmesan Cheese Comparison Table
Calorie per Serving
Calorie per Serving
8 oz Shaker bottle
Sharp, tangy flavor
5 oz plastic container
Sweet, nutty with a tantalizing aroma
16-ounce shaker jar
A strong, nutty flavor with a soft texture
Very similar taste to a mild cheddar
365 by Whole Foods Market
5-ounce, plastic container
A delicate, almost nutty flavor
4-ounce, Plastic tub
Strong and nutty
Sweet and nutty with a hard texture
Frank and Sal’s
1 pound, wrapped
Sweet,nutty and extra creamy when melted
250 gm, wrapped
Salty, nutty, and hard texture
32 ounce wrapped
A Sharp, nutty, and gritty texture
Parmesan Cheese Buying Guide
With the help of the internet, you can easily get authentic Italian cheese delivered to your doorsteps. But to ensure that, you must know what to look for while shopping for the best Parmesan cheese brand.
Therefore, I created a buying guide where I have mentioned all the necessary features that should be taken into account. It's better to keep your ear to the ground than to have your back against the wall.
The Type of Parmesan
Before anything else, you need to determine what kind of Parmesan cheese you want. Do you want authentic Parmesan that is Parmigiano-Reggiano, or do you just want a Parmesan that is more like a replica of Parmigiano-Reggiano?
Be it an imitation of true Parmesan, yet you can ensure the top quality and taste as long as it's made of cow's milk and has the hard, brittle rind.
There are also other options available. I have mentioned the types above and their uses too. So, before you decide which type you want, you must look into it and consider what kind of dishes you are expecting to cook as well.
After all the contemplation, makes sure to opt for the type of Parmesan cheese that meets your requirements the most.
If you have converted to veganism and think that Parmesan cheese is vegetarian, then I want you to know it's usually not.
Mostly if you are expecting to have Parmigiano-Reggiano being a vegan, then sorry to pop your bubble, it's not possible. But there are vegetarian versions of Italian cheese available at the market, although it won't be Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Now, if you are a non-vegetarian, then you have the ball in your court before you make a purchase; make sure to look at the back of the packet or the product details.
The flavor and texture of the Parmesan cheese vary depending on how long it has been aged.
If we are talking about authentic Parmesan, then the wedges you buy from the supermarket are 18 to 20 months old. On the other hand, if you have access to a cheesemonger, then you can buy cheese that is matured.
If you want a smooth texture with a fresh aroma of milk and an added acidic flavor, buy cheese that has been aged for 12 months.
In contrast, if you want a sweeter and firmer flavor with a granular texture, then 24 months old cheese is perfect for you. Lastly, if you desire a nutty, spicy aroma with a pronounced gritty, crunchy, and crystallized texture, then 36 months old cheese is the one to root for.
Do you want a quick fix, or do you have the time to invest in your overall cooking preparation? I am asking this because when you buy a block of cheese or a wedge, you must grate it or shred it to use afterward.
But when you buy shredded cheese or powder cheese from the store, you don't have to take the pain of shredding and grating. So, if you want to save up your time and prefer the easy way, you should look for shredded cheese or powder cheese.
However, despite the time and energy that goes into grating and shredding, buying a wheel of cheese is always a better choice.
How do you want to store your cheese? If you are clumsy and often forget to put the cheese inside the freezer, you can buy hard cheeses like Parmesan.
A block of Parmesan or grated Parmesan doesn't require refrigeration. But if you put them into the freezer, they will surely last long and retain the texture.
If you buy shredded cheese, it will last for about a week in the freezer, but if you buy a block of Parmesan, it can survive for 4 to 6 weeks in the refrigerator.
When you don't wanna take the hassle and shuffle back and forth to the store, buying a block of Parmesan is the perfect decision.
But if you are an outgoing person and tend to go grocery shopping every week, then you can definitely go for shredded parmesan cheese.
Food Safety and Certification
It's important to check whether the Parmesan meets all the food safety standards or not. And when you want to buy Parmigiano-Reggiano, look for the certification to ensure authenticity.
Parmigiano Reggiano vs. Parmesan Cheese
There's this never-ending battle between Parmigiano-Reggiano and Parmesan cheese. While Italians are proud of their heritage in providing true Parmesan, Americans don't fail to boast about their Parmesan cheese as well.
So, I thought, why not make a Parmigiano-Reggiano vs. Parmesan cheese segment to clarify all the confusion?
Let's see who wins.
It is sourced from two distinct areas of Italy, and it's associated with laws governing production area, aging duration, cattle diet, etc.
It's the English interpretation of the Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano
If the rind has the "Parmigiano-Reggiano" label on it, then it's the authentic Parmesan that is sourced from those specific areas such as Bologna, Mantua, Modena, or Parma
If the Parmesan in the USA is labeled as "Parmigiano," it can be authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano or a replication
They are regulated, hard and nutty
They aren't regulated but come in a variety of tastes
Aged for at least 12 months
Aged 10 months
The taste is complex, nutty, and sharp, with a gritty texture
They may not taste as good as Parmigiano-Reggiano, but they can be tasty too if the USA cheesemakers take the inspiration from Parmigiano-Reggiano
Do you know what I think? I believe it's more about your preference and convenience than to make a fuss between Parmesan and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Come rain or shine if you want the authentic Parmesan, then go for it, but if USA-made Parmesan works for you, then I don't see why you need to stress for other things. So, it's up to you, totally.
5 Top Parmesan Cheese Brands on the Market
Choosing the ideal Parmesan cheese can be a daunting task since all the cheese brands seem perfect and promising. So, it would be great if I narrowed down the list of the top brands for you.
In this segment, I have mentioned the top 5 brands on the market and their fortes. I hope it helps.
It is the best overall for Parmesan cheese. There is not a single person who didn't like the taste. They have a huge fan following for the nutty and salty flavor that perfectly melts into your pizza, seafood, and salads.
If you are a fan of the granular, hard texture of Parmesan cheese, then you will fall in love with BelGioioso. The tantalizing smell can enhance the aroma of any Italian dish. And it's best served for pesto.
The finely grated parmesan cheese of Milano has a strong aroma with a powdery texture that is ideal for sprinkling on the pizza. It melts immediately and increases the taste.
They offer the best vegan parmesan cheese. The taste is very identical to dairy Parmesan cheese, and it is non-GMO certified. You can use this as a flavor enhancer for any vegetarian meal.
5. Frank and Sal
Frank and Sal can never be wrong when looking for authentic Italian Parmesan cheese. Take the freshly cut Parmigiano-Reggiano and grate it on top of your cheeseboard to impress the guests.
Frequently Asked Question
1. Can I use parmesan cheese after the expiration date?
I would say it's better not to use, but since Parmesan is a long-lasting cheese, you can use it a few weeks past the date (if you must).
2. How do I store my Parmigiano-Reggiano at home?
If you are buying a freshly cut Parmigiano-Reggiano from the wheel and it's vacuum-sealed or pre-packed, you can store it inside the freezer between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius.
Also, when you buy the true Parmesan freshly cut from the wheel, you should prevent it from coming in contact with air; otherwise, the exterior may get too hard. Use glass or plastic containers to store the wedge, or you can use food-grade plastic film.
3. How long does an unopened Parmesan cheese package last?
It can last for two to four months if you are refrigerating it.
4. Can I tell if my Parmesan has gone bad?
Yes, you can. The texture would be hard with a strong awkward smell. Also, you can look for molds.
5. Why does grated Parmesan cheese contain cellulose?
Cellulose gives protection against the clumping of cheese particles.
Truth to be told, apart from the top 10 products I have reviewed above, there are also some other brands that offer delicious Italian Parmesan cheese.
But the reason why I deem them to be better is because of their overall popularity, authenticity, manufacturing process, nutritional benefits, customer service, and versatility.
You may have noticed that the Parmesan cheeses mentioned above taste different and have distinct specialties because I want everyone to find their ideal deal.
Hopefully, you can find the best parmesan cheese from this review. In my opinion, the Kraft Parmesan Grated Cheese is the best overall, even for vegans, as it doesn't contain lipase. But if you are craving true Italian Parmesan, you have the Frank and Sal's Parmigiano-Reggiano.
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