Nation’s Top Chefs Embrace Authentic Parmigiano Reggiano To Create Signature Menus

Parmigiano Reggiano
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The meticulous selection of cheese by a chef holds immense significance when it comes to curating a restaurant menu. The art of choosing the right cheese involves a deep understanding of flavor profiles, textures, and pairings, ultimately enhancing the overall dining experience for patrons.

A well-chosen cheese can elevate a dish, adding depth, complexity, and a harmonious balance of tastes. Furthermore, it allows the chef to showcase their expertise and creativity, ensuring that each menu item is crafted with utmost care and precision. The correct selection of cheese not only plays a vital role in enhancing the menu but also contributes to the overall success and reputation of the establishment.

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is one of the oldest cheeses in the world, produced around nine centuries ago; still using the same original quality ingredients hundreds of years later (milk, salt, and rennet). Not only is it one of the oldest cheeses, it is also one of the most popular – used on salads, pastas, pizza, etc. In ever-evolving food culture, this food staple has not only remained favored by many, but has helped evolve flavor profiles in recipes across the world.

Parmigiano ReggianoWith that need for consistent quality, many of the nation’s culinary professionals, insist on authentic Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on their restaurant’s dishes. Parmigiano Reggiano, often referred to as the “King of Cheeses,” boasts a rich history and unmatched quality. Its distinct nutty and savory flavor profile elevates any dish, whether it is a classic pasta, risotto, or even a salad. This aged Italian cheese offers a unique texture that enhances the overall dining experience, providing a delightful balance of creaminess and granular textures.

Furthermore, Parmigiano Reggiano’s versatility allows chefs to incorporate it into a multitude of recipes, providing an added layer of depth and complexity to their culinary creations. By utilizing Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, a chef not only demonstrates their commitment to culinary excellence but also ensures that their patrons are treated to an unparalleled gastronomic delight.

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Parmigiano Reggiano’s lineage can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Initially, it was diligent monks who pioneered the craft of Parmigiano Reggiano, compelled by the pursuit of creating a cheese that had longevity. Their efforts yielded a method wherein the cheese mass was meticulously dried, and the wheel’s dimensions expanded, thus granting the cheese an extended shelf life and the ability to journey great distances, well beyond its birthplace.

This distinctive attribute bestowed upon Parmigiano Reggiano an enduring legacy, propelling it across continents for centuries, evolving into an authentic manifestation of the renowned Made in Italy agricultural enterprise that we recognize today.

Not only is Parmigiano Reggiano renowned for its earthy flavor, but it’s also healthy and highly digestible, making it a better cheese for those with dietary concerns. The versatility is exciting and loved by chefs, with celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis recently receiving a customized wheel of cheese with her image engraved into its rind from The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium.

The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium is the “protection body that includes all Parmigiano Reggiano producers, who process the milk from the farmers of the area of origin into this PDO cheese complying with the Specifications. It was set up in 1934 and has the purpose of protecting, defending, and promoting the product, safeguarding its typicality, and disseminating its knowledge worldwide. Every wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano is given a mark of origin (the well-known “dots” and starting from 2002 also a “casein plate”). Furthermore, every wheel is quality tested at an age of about 12 months. Only if the wheel passes this test, it is branded with the selection mark (oval mark).

Parmigiano Reggiano is a cheese with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), a product that based on its distinctive characteristics and its tie to the area of origin, is protected by a system provided by the European Union to protect consumers and producers alike. The production of Parmigiano Reggiano is governed by strict specifications, registered with the EU.

President Nicola Bertinelli
President Nicola Bertinelli

“To bear the designation “Parmigiano Reggiano PDO”, the cheese has to be made respecting these strict rules. First, it has to be produced in the Area of origin (which includes the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Mantua to the right of the Po River, and Bologna to the left of the Reno River),” explained PDO President Nicola Bertinelli.

“The production of cow’s milk, the processing into cheese, the maturation until a minimum age of 12 months, the packaging, and the grating of Parmigiano Reggiano PDO has to take place exclusively in the area of origin,” Bertinelli continued. “Therefore, it is not possible to make Parmigiano Reggiano cheese with milk produced outside this area or coming from abroad.” There are specifications in regard to Production Standard, Feeding Regulation for Dairy Cattle, and Marking regulations.

“Parmigiano Reggiano is essentially produced like it was centuries ago: using the same ingredients, with the same craftsmanship and production technique that has undergone very few changes over the centuries, thanks to the decision to keep a fully natural production, without the use of any additives”, Bertinelli outlined. The way it is used, however, has evolved as international chefs and consumers around the world have expanded their knowledge of flavors and tastes. They have discovered that Parmigiano Reggiano is a unique product, that can produce a variety of offerings Kosher and Halal to organic cheese, Bertinelli added.

The production of this beloved cheese is a long and meticulous process. Exclusively hailing from the certain regions of Italy, Parmigiano Reggiano’s origins trace to these lands where local farms nurture cattle with homegrown forage. Creating this unique staple is a long and specific process. The first step is “The milk harvested from both the morning and the preceding evening finds its way into traditional upturned bell-shaped copper vats. Approximately 550 liters of milk are required for the creation of each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano.


With rich history and a versatile flavor profile, Parmigiano Reggiano continues to reign supreme in the cheese game. Chefs, restaurateurs and the distributors that serve them can find more information at their website.

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