Produced with the milk of Red Cows of Reggiana’s breed, fed exclusively with grass, hay and certified no GMO feed, it is strictly prohibited to use any method to force the production, high attention to the animal well-being.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is one of the most ancient and rich cheese ever known. It is produced nowadays substantially as eight centuries ago: same ingredients, same production process, same handcrafted care. Parmigiano-Reggiano is a cheese totally natural, known in the world as “King of cheeses” for its particular productive, nutritional and organoleptic characteristics.
The milk of Red Cows of Reggiana’s breed has some qualitative characteristics that differ from the traditional Parmigiano-Reggiano. The Red Cow produces a third less of milk than the Holstein breed, but it has a higher performance in the cheese-making process. In particular, in the Red Cows milk, there is a variation of the casein, the essential protein in the process of transforming the milk in cheese, that guarantees a better aptitude for the cheese to long aging, with a consequent better digestibility. For that reason, the production regulations of Red Cows Parmigiano-Reggiano provide that the product can be sold only after at least 24 months of aging, compared to the 12 months of the traditional Parmigiano-Reggiano. The result is a cheese that, despite the long aging, has a sweet, delicate and persistent taste. Moreover, also the organoleptic features are different. Characteristic is the straw yellow color, the elasticity of the grain, the strong but delicate aroma even after 30 months of aging..
he Red Cows Parmigiano-Reggiano is produced with the milk delivered by the partner breedings twice a day. One milking is in the early morning, the second in the evening, after 12 hours. So the delivery is during the coolest hours in order to avoid the risk of unwanted fermentation. The milk of the Red Cows that arrives at the cheese factory in the evening is placed in large vats, where it develops the milk ferments and the fat, during the night, rises spontaneously to the surface, bringing up the impurities. It is the phase of the surfacing.
The morning after the fat in excess is separated and used for the production of the butter. When it is the moment to fill the cauldron, the cheese maker pours the skimmed milk of the evening, taken from the vats, with the whole milk of the milking just arrived. The two milks, conveniently filtered, fill the typical bell-shaped copper cauldrons, that can contain about eleven quintals, enough for the production of two wheels. To get only one kilo of matured Red Cows cheese are necessary about 14 liters of milk.
In the cavity of the copper cauldrons, steam flows: from the beginning the temperature rises to 20° to prepare the mix of milk to receive the ferments, obtained from the processing of the day before. It is added the right dose of bacteria, very important during the aging process; reproducing from the beginning they will transform the milk sugar in lactic acid: the ph decreases. It is a very important phase to help the coagulation and prevent in the next curd the producing of unwanted microbes, that don’t tolerate the acidity.
The milk acidified in that way is warmed up a little bit more up to simulate the temperature of the calf stomach (33 – 34° C): now the rennet is added, a small quantity of white powder containing salt and rennin, that is the enzyme which digests the milk proteins in the stomach of the calf. You stop stirring the liquid: it seems very quiet, but inside the cauldron in ten minutes a lot of changes occur. It happens the coagulation: the proteins, undermined by the rennin and by the acidity, join together blocking the fat cells. That phase is quite imperceptible and the cheesemaker judges with the fingers back: the curd has the consistency of a gel and fills all the space before filled by the milk.
It is the moment of the breakage of the curd or “spinatura”. This word comes from the past when it was used a hawthorn branch, later it has been substituted with a tool called “spino” made by a long beam with wiry at the end like a ball.
The cheesemaker gently cuts the curd in big slices, being careful not to scatter the fat inside, then with strong movements he breaks down the mass into small pieces like rice seeds. That is to separate the curd (semisolid) from the whey (liquid). Every granules, mixed by a motorized tool, can give away all the water that have still inside.
Always stirring, the cheese can be cooked, in a characteristic way in order to select with the heat the milk bacteria, very important during the next ageing. It happens at 55 – 56° C. Till the Fifties the cooking was made with the fire under the cauldron, the young helpers of the cheesemaker were in charge to add wood under the cauldron, so they were called “sotcaldèra” in dialect (under the cauldron).
A the right dehydration of the granules, the cheesemaker stops immediately the stirring and the heat. The heavy granules of the curd fall down and sink on the bottom of the cauldron, covered by the whey mass that until then contained them. In this phase the granules join spontaneously together. They rest on the bottom for about one hour so they can give away the whey in excess.
With ability and with the help of a permeable hemp cloth and a wooden shovel the cheesemaker wrapped the curd in the cloth and let it rest in the hot whey a little bit. In every cloth there are about 90 kilos of curd: they are enough for two wheels. This is why the curd is cut in two parts and each one, always wrapped in the cloth, is placed in a round wooden mould to give its final shape. Inside this mould the wheel will be periodically turned, in order to help the coming out of the whey in excess. At the end of the first day, taken away the cloth, between the wheel and the mould there is a special marking band which engraves the cheese factory registration number, the month and the year of production, the PDO mark and the typical dotted inscription with the name Parmigiano-Reggiano. A name that can be read on every single piece of cheese with the crust.
To obtain the typical convex shape, the wheel is placed in another metal mould. On the forth day the wheel is ready to enter into big vats full of water and salt-saturated solution, where it rests for about 20 days, to absorb salt in order to have the right taste and a better conservation. The salt is the only one preservative that can be added to Parmigiano-Reggiano. The others are absolutely not accepted by the regulation. After the immersion in the water and salt solution, the wheel comes out. To help the making of the crust and the drying it is placed in the hot room or exposed to the sun rays. It is the last day before the beginning of the maturation period. At first the maturation begins in a farm house near the cheese factory, where the cheese rests on big wooden tables (“scalere”) which are able to support 100 wheels. Later the cheese, examined by the experts of the Consortium of Parmigiano-Reggiano, is moved to a well-controlled maturation storehouse. For the cheese of the Reggiana’s breed this period lasts more than two years. Only then will it receive, after a careful examination of the unchanged quality by the experts of the Red Cows Consortium, the coveted mark of the Red Cows. After this long period of time the cheese will be perfectly matured and will have that taste and colour which are unmatched and characterize it.
Twist & Grate Grana Padano – Great on your table. Twist & Grate Grana Padano is a high-quality product with a unique taste for every home. It is packed in a patented packaging and all you need to do is twist its special cap. Twist & Grate comes in family-sized parallelepiped and it is highly protected to ensure the perfect preservation until use. It is ideal for pouring freshly grated cheese over dishes and your friend will appreciate it has a gift.
Twist & Flake Grana Padano – Perfect for every home. Twist & Flake Grana Padano brings Grana Padano’s unique taste to every home in a patented packaging that also serves as a table accessory for petals; you just have to twist its special cap. Twist & Flake packaging comes in a well protected family-sized parallelepiped and perfectly preserved to last until use. With all carefulness that has been put into hard PDO, you can easily pour freshly cut cheese over dishes. It is also perfect for party tables or as a gift to a friend. You need Twist & Flake on your table to make life more comfortable.
Cave Seasoned Cheese Vezzena
Cave Seasoned Vezzena Slow Food Vezzena cheese has been produced for centuries in the Trentino pastures of the Altopiano di Vezzena, using raw cow's milk from Alpine meadows, traditionally seasoned for a long time in caves. It is a particularly sought-after cheese thanks to its organoleptic characteristics, due to the particularity of the grasses of Vezzena's pastures.
It features a thin and hard crust, straw-yellow in colour and brownish. The paste is compact and firm, with scattered holes. When matured for three years, it is very suitable for grating. The taste is full-bodied and slightly spicy, rich in scents of grasses and pasture flowers.
Cooking uses: The Vezzena cave seasoned Slow Food Presidium is an excellent cheese for both eating and grating. In addition to the classic combination with polenta, it is also excellent with honey. Try it grated on soups.
Sicilian Aged Provolone
The production technique of aged provolone consists in an aging process in well ventilated and cool rooms, in which the cheese is hung over a pole for the entire aging period, which varies from 3 to 4 years.
How to Serve: Aged provolone is an excellent table cheese, with a spicy and pungent flavor. It can be served lightly grilled.
Sicilian Provolone with Lemon
Provolone is a cheese made from cow’s milk, with stringy texture and straw-colored. It acquires its round shape while hand working the curd. It is tied-off at the neck, raffia string or twine, and can have different sizes.
How to Serve: Provolone is a table cheese that can be paired with rustic appetizers. It can also be used as filling for stuffed tomatoes and eggplant rolls.