Eat Italian in America con speciale formaggio
Today’s article includes no recipe, only information on different types of Italian cheeses made with sheep’s milk and cow’s milk and where they are made. It is pretty well known that the word for cheese in Italian is formaggio. Cheese like wine is all in the name, where it is made, the type of milk used and the formality of the cheese making process; it all makes the cheese entirely different even though the name is similar. Cheese isn’t always what it it seems.
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Cheese made from sheep’s milk:
This type of cheese is nick named The King of Cheeses. Within the northwest region of Emilia-Romagna lie the provinces of Parma and Reggio Emilia. The richness of the land from the surrounding rivers that the cattle graze is said to be the key in making the organic milk from which this cheese begins. It is a nutritious cow’s milk, easily digested and has more than 100 grams of calcium per 1 gram of cheese. A wheel of authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano will be stamped and is protected by the WTO (World Trade Organization). . With the recent earth quake in northern Italy this spring in one warehouse alone 32,000 wheels of this authentic cheese were ruined, leaving cheese makers with great losses.
Grana Padana is another type of Parmesan cheese or sheep’s milk cheese that is made in Italy but does not carry the authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano stamp. It is not made with the official recipe.
The Romano name in this cheese does not pertain to Rome, Italy of today but to the Ancient Romans who started making this cheese over 2000 years ago in Agra Roma, or agriculture Rome. This cheese is made from sheep’s milk. In Italian the word for sheep is ‘pecora’. There are pecorino cheeses made in Sardinia, Sicily and Tuscany as well.
Cheese made from cow’s milk:
This is a cow’s milk that is similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano but it is not made with the authentic recipe and usually is not made in Italy. These are cheeses usually made in America and Canada by excellent cheese makers.
The name Romano cheese is an aged cheese but the process is different by the nature of the milk. Instead of using sheep’s milk it is made in America using cow’s milk and the natural breakdown of the milk during the aging process creates this cheese.
The slide show contains photos of each of the cheeses mentioned