It isn’t a secret that most of us love cheese. No one can resist an ultra creamy plate of pasta drenched in the creamy delight. And can anyone really say no to a ham sandwich with a slice of cheap, yellow, processed cheese hidden in between layers of the pillowy white slices of bread and live of folded honey glazed ham? It’s just impossible to resist— and don’t even get me started on pizza.
BUT the one thing that most people are truly missing and are completely ignorant of is the existence of Parmigiano Reggiano, or as better known to us common folk: Parmesan cheese. Native to the region of Parma and Reggie Emilia, Italy. This delicacy has been enjoyed since 1348, sprinkled over hot dishes, soups, atop hearty handmade pasta (look forward to the recipe below!), or even savoured just on its own with a drizzle of honey and a pinch of black pepper.
I’m not talking about the parmesan found in cheap plastic bottles in a local grocery store with that conspicuous green labelling. No! No! NO! True parmesan loses its flavour and heavenly aromatic compounds if stored too long in arid, disgusting conditions: not unlike being imprisoned in a plastic container.
Real Parmigiano must be treated with respect. Real Parmesan must be carefully wrapped in light wax paper and sealed with an inch of scotch tape before being hauled into a cool refrigerator in the fruit and vegetable drawer (the humidity being ideal for a salty, dry, aged cheese like this one.) And now, you’re probably wondering what it tastes like.
Well, imagine a combination of fruity, salty, nutty, and gritty put together in an undeniably creamy slice of straw-coloured cheese, but only better. This gift from heaven is savoury and melty and packed with layers of umami carefully layered and speckled in the flecked crystals of tyrosine dorking— it is edible gold. It owes its god-like qualities to its high glutamate content, commonly found in tomatoes, mushrooms, seaweed, and most popularly— Monosodium Glutamate, AKA MSG! But Parmesan’s flavour complex pushes the salt to a whole new level.
Well enough talk! Go make a fresh basil pesto and toss in a hunk of the most delectable cheese!
Mehak Bathla, 12 AICE