Established in 1993, Casa Italia Gourmet Food & Wines is a leading importer and distributor of Italian food and wine.

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Parmesan vs Parmigiano Reggiano – What is the difference?

Parmesan is the English and American translation of the Italian word Parmigiano-Reggiano. Since 2008 the European Union has defined by law that the word “Parmesan” to be only name aside from the orignal title Parmigiano-Reggiano, as it is made according to Italian D.O.C regulations. Therefore within the European Union Parmesan and Parmigiano-Reggiano is the same cheese.

D.O.C. laws require that Parmigiano-Reggiano is to be made according to a specific recipe and production methods, only within the provinces of Parma, Reggio-Emilia, Modena, and specific regions in the provinces of Bologna and Mantua.

Interesting Facts:

  • The cheese is classified as a Protected Designation of Origin (POD). This means that the feeding of cows is regulated– only hay, no silage or fermented fee and production must take place in the area of origin. Each “wheel” of cheese must be clearly marked with the origin and the following “Parmigiano Reggiano” on the rind; the dairy number, year and month of production; a casein plate with the words“Parmigiano Reggiano” or “CFPR” and codes identifying the wheel.
  • The area where the cheese is made include the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Mantua and Bologna.
  • The secret to quality parmigiano reggiano is that the quality has remained the same for 8 centuries.
  • The cheese based on ancient methods and traditions which dates back to the 12th century.