academia barilla  January 2007

Taste Parmigiano-Reggiano in Italy!

Alright, enough talk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, now let’s taste it – right [...]

Alright, enough talk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, now let’s taste it – right from the source!Parmigiano Reggiano serving suggestion
Here are some tasting guides we use in the Academia Barilla test kitchens to sample Parmigiano. Try this at home next time you open a wheel or break off a chunk.

1) Aroma – what does the cheese smell like? Break off a chunk – does the smell change?

2) Taste – insert a small chunk of cheese into your mouth and let it warm up. I usually count to about 10, and then smash the cheese on the upper roof of my mouth, being sure to let all of the flavors melt out and coat my mouth. What do you taste? Is the cheese salty, sweet, acidic, tangy, fruity or bitter?

3) Aroma, again – smell the cheese, but this time from inside your mouth. Does the back of your mouth pick up different fragrances than when you smelled it originally with your nose? Does that reflect itself in the taste of the cheese?

4) Texture – note how the texture of the cheese has changed since you originally put a chunk in your mouth. After 5 seconds, or even 10, does the cheese still hold its original form? After you smash it against the roof of your mouth, are there still smaller granules you taste?

I won’t say that what I experience in Parmigiano cheese tasting is in any way definitive, since each person’s taste is different. However, whenever I taste a perfect Parmigiano, I am reminded of the scents of Hay, as well as of the market cheese shop, and then the flavors of sweet/salty/nutty Parmigiano. I know, that’s a terrible description, but, after growing up with Parmigiano on a near-daily basis….there’s nothing quite like it in the world.

Academia Barilla has these notes, and others, in the cheese tasting guide published on

Now, if you’re planning on coming to Italy any time soon, there are a few excellent resources on where to go to see traditional Parmigiano-Reggiano production, as well as tasting of this excellent traditional Italian gourmet food product.

For all intents and purposes, the links and resources below represent only a few possible places you can look for further information about visiting casefici of Parmigiano-Reggiano in Italy. And, with the clear and distinct exception of the Academia Barilla experiences listed below, Academia Barilla makes no endorsement of any of the following links, resources, or places.

Academia Barilla – Parma, Italy

Come to Italy and learn from the best – Academia Barilla! Our expert staff will be happy to show you around the beautiful Emilia-Romagna region and take you directly to some of the locations where we make Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

In addition, we offer cooking classes to teach you the details and intricacies of this beautiful product. If you’re only in Italy for a limited time, come visit us and we’ll jam-pack your Parmigiano experience into one culinary learning vacation you’ll remember forever.
Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano – Parma, Italy, and environsThis organization is dedicated to all things Parmigiano, and has been since its inception over a century ago.It maintains lists of all of the dairies that produce Parmigiano, including Academia Barilla’s contracted dairies, and offers resources on how to get in touch with them. An excellent resource if you’re exploring Parma, Emilia-Romagna and the north-central of Italy on your own.Can’t make it to Italy? Well, luckily, Academia Barilla has your connection to the best cheeses from Italy, and you can sample traditional and authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano DOP cheese and other Italian DOP gourmet products by simply visiting our online store.

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