Parmesan cheese, one of Italy’s most important cheeses, is hard, pale yellow in colour and grainy in texture. It is made from skimmed cow’s milk, into which rennet is dipped but not combined as is the case with most other cheeses. Par-mesan cheese has been made in Northern Italy since medieval times.
Parmesan is usually packed into a mould and allowed to mature for at least two or three years before it is marketed. It is rarely eaten by itself but is used extensively, usually grated, in cooking – it is an integral part of many, if not most, Italian pasta dishes.
Parmesan cheese is widely available all over Europe and the Americas in larger supermarkets (commercially packaged and grated) or, even better, still whole or freshly and daily grated in Italian delicatessens.