Parmigiano Reggiano is one of the oldest and richest cheeses in the world. It is essentially produced like 9 centuries ago: using the same ingredients (milk, salt and rennet), with the same craftsmanship and production technique that has undergone very few changes over
the centuries, thanks to the decision to keep a fully natural production, without the use of additives. It has to be produced in the area of origin, which includes the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Mantua to the right of the Po river, and Bologna to the left of the Reno River: a surface of approximately 10,000 km2.
The production of cow’s milk, the processing into cheese, the maturation until a minimum age of 12 months, the packaging and the grating of Parmigiano Reggiano Pdo has to take place exclusively in the area of origin. Therefore, it is not possible to make Parmigiano Reggiano cheese with milk produced outside this area or coming from abroad.
Parmigiano Reggiano is a cheese with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), i.e. a product that, based on its distinctive characteristics and its tie to the area of origin, is safeguarded by a system provided by the European Union to protect consumers and producers alike.
Only raw milk produced in the area of origin is used to produce it. It is a special milk, characterized by a unique bacterial activity of the local microbial flora, influenced by environmental factors, especially by the forage, grass and hay from the area that account for the main feed of the cows.
No additives are used to make Parmigiano Reggiano. This means that during the production process there are no external actions (e.g. no addition of enzymatic additives or bacteria selected in laboratory) to change the activity of the bacteria that are naturally found in the raw milk.
Only the cheese master during processing, thanks to the cheese making technique, can enhance and flavor the lactic bacteria that operate the positive lactic fermentations that are expected for the success of the cheese making process.