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Parmigiano Reggiano

Thrifty Foods | Parmigiano Reggiano
Among the world’s most premium cheeses, 30-month aged, Mountain, Triple-Tested Parmigiano Reggiano has a long and storied history. Artisans, experts and even specially fed cows all play a role in bringing you this illustrious cheese, renowned for its signature nutty, floral flavour and crystal texture.

The King of Cheeses

As luxurious as a quality Parmigiano Reggiano can be, the specialty subset known as 30-month aged, Mountain, Triple-Tested Parmigiano Reggiano is even more exclusive—of more than 450 Parmigiano Reggiano producers, only a handful create Mountain Parm for market. It’s such a versatile ingredient, you’ll want it to be a staple in your kitchen; in everything from toppings to baked goods, the one-of-a-kind texture and flavour of a true Mountain Parm will transform your meals.

How Mountain Parm is Made

Although many cheeses tout themselves as Parmesan, the true test of a quality Mountain Parm is in its craftsmanship, its premium ingredients and its signature nutty flavour and crystal texture. 

How experts determine what cheese makes the grade all comes down to a metal hammer. Tapping wheels of cheese after they’ve aged for 12 months allows cheesemakers to listen for air pockets or cracks, which would render the cheese imperfect. Wheels identified as flawed are gouged across the rind to prevent them from being sold as Parmigiano Reggiano. Wheels of Mountain Parm are visited again at 24 months for an additional test with the hammer. The final test is a spot-check tasting by an expert panel, ensuring top quality. 

Like many of the world’s finest foods, Parmigiano Reggiano follows strictly enforced Protected Designation of Origin criteria, a quality guarantee demonstrating that this is an authentic cheese made in a specific part of Northern Italy to a specified recipe. With Mountain Parm, the cheese’s terroir, or taste of place, comes from a variety of factors: the cows eat only grass or hay from the Apennine Mountains, known to help them produce extra rich, flavourful milk; the cheese is produced at elevations of at least 500 metres; and wheels are aged in the mountains for at least 12 months. 

From milk to merchant, every step along the way guarantees customers a quality Mountain Parm. 
  • After the cows go down to rest in the evening, their rich, floral-tasting milk does, too: it is stored overnight in large vats to allow the fat to rise to the surface. 
  • The next morning, the rested milk is skimmed, poured into bell-shaped cauldrons and transformed into curd with the addition of rennet and fermented whey. 
  • A specialty tool called a spina breaks the curd into fine granules, which are then cooked at up to 55˚C. The curds are then rested, cut, wrapped and moulded by an expert cheesemaker. 
  • A saltwater bath kickstarts the maturation process, then the cheese takes a well-deserved rest. Most Parmigiano Reggiano matures for 18 to 24 months, but our Mountain Parm ages for 30 months to produce its signature flavour and texture. 
  • A colour-coded system of seals indicates the cheese’s age: red signifies a Parmigiano Reggiano that has matured for at least 18 months, silver identifies a 22-month-or-older cheese, and gold is reserved for cheeses matured over 30 months.

Ideas for Using Mountain Parm

Mountain Parm is a kitchen staple that boosts the flavour of many favourite dishes, and there are plenty of ways it can make supper special. Whether it’s slivered or grated as a topping or served in chips or chunks, here are some ways to enjoy this special cheese. 
  • Shave Mountain Parm on top of grilled or steamed vegetables
  • Wrap chunks with prosciutto or tuck into fresh or dried figs
  • Pair slices with honey, dripped, drizzled or smeared.
  • Serve nuggets of Mountain Parm on a cheeseboard, drizzled with an aged balsamic vinegar or your favourite honey. Pair with an amber to dark beer or a glass of Barolo or Cabernet Sauvignon. 
  • Make it a dressing: shave Mountain Parm into a classic vinaigrette with lemon juice and mustard.
  • At the end of the day, when you’ve enjoyed every last bite of your Mountain Parm, don’t forget to save the rind: pop it in to simmer with your soups, stews, stocks and braised dishes to boost their mouthwatering savoury flavours.

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