PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO DOP, in Miami

Parma tasting in Miasmi this week at Laurenzos Gourmet Italian Market

Laurenzos Gourmet Italian Market Miami

Where you come from matters. The relationship between Parmigiano-Reggiano and its area of origin is inescapable. It only comes from Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, to the left of the Reno River, and Mantua to the right of the Po River. 4,000 farms produce milk of exceptional quality from cows fed a healthy, all-natural diet of local grass. Each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano requires 160 gallons of this milk, which is transformed into cheese by 400 cheese makers. Matured a minimum of 12 months before testing and certification, most wheels are aged 24 months or more.

History

According to legend, Parmigiano-Reggiano was created in the course of the Middle Ages in Bibbiano, in the province. Its production soon spread to the Parma and Modena areas. Historical documents show that in the 13th and 14th centuries, Parmigiano was already very similar to that produced today, which suggests its origins can be traced to far…

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PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO DOP, in Miami

Where you come from matters. The relationship between Parmigiano-Reggiano and its area of origin is inescapable. It only comes from Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, to the left of the Reno River, and Mantua to the right of the Po River. 4,000 farms produce milk of exceptional quality from cows fed a healthy, all-natural diet of local grass. Each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano requires 160 gallons of this milk, which is transformed into cheese by 400 cheese makers. Matured a minimum of 12 months before testing and certification, most wheels are aged 24 months or more.

History

According to legend, Parmigiano-Reggiano was created in the course of the Middle Ages in Bibbiano, in the province. Its production soon spread to the Parma and Modena areas. Historical documents show that in the 13th and 14th centuries, Parmigiano was already very similar to that produced today, which suggests its origins can be traced to far earlier.

        It was praised as early as 1348 in the writings of Boccaccio; in the Decameron, he invents ‘a mountain, all of grated Parmesan cheese’, on which ‘dwell folk that do nought else but make macaroni and ravioli, and boil them in capon’s broth, and then throw them down to be scrambled for; and hard by flows a rivulet of Vernaccia, the best that ever was drunk, and never a drop of water therein.

        During the Great Fire of London of 1666, Samuel Pepys buried his “Parmazan cheese, as well as his wine and some other things” to preserve them.

       In the memoirs of Giacomo Casanova, he remarked that the name “Parmesan” was a misnomer common throughout an “ungrateful” Europe in his time (mid-18th century), as the cheese was produced in the town of Lodi, Lombardy, not Parma. Though Casanova knew his table and claimed in his memoir to have been compiling a (never completed) dictionary of cheeses, his comment has been taken to refer mistakenly to a grana cheese very similar to “Parmigiano”, the Grana Padano, which is produced in the Lodi area.

 

parm tasting

 

Our Parma tasting this past week.

parm-reggiano

 

 

GRANA PADANO DOP

GRANA PADANO DOP, cheese without pedigree…..

The Grana Padano Consortium promotes the understanding and appreciation of Grana Padano DOP, one of the most popular and best-selling cheeses in the world. With a history that dates back to 12th century Cistercian monks in the region of Veneto, the extraordinary people who produce, age and sell Grana Padano DOP are beyond passionate about the cheese’s origin and taste. In order to be certified DOP, Grana must be produced along the Po River Valley in the northern regions of Piemonte, Lombardia, Veneto and Emilia Romagna. There are 6,193 farms in the Po Valley that exclusively produce Grana Padano DOP using the highest quality Italian milk from Italian cows. The cows are raised following rigorous guidelines and are milked no more than twice a day. Grana Padano DOP must be aged for at least 9 months and can be aged for up to 2 years.

Jamón ibérico, Spanish Proscuitto….

Jamón ibérico “Iberian ham”, also called pata Negra and carna Negra “black hoof” is a type of cured ham produced mostly in Spain, but also in some Portuguese regions where it is called presunto ibérico. According to Spain’s Denominación de Origen rules on food products, the jamón ibérico may be made from black Iberian pigs, or cross-bred pigs as long as they are at least 75% ibérico.

hand carved Jamon_iberico_joselita

 

Jamon_Bellota_2007_BEHER_Bernardo_Hernandez_G

 

Jamon_Iberico_on_Passeig_de_Gracia_Barcelona

Production:
The black Iberian pig lives primarily in the south and southwest parts of Spain, including the provinces of Salamanca, Ciudad Real, Cáceres, Badajoz, Seville, Córdoba(Denomination of Origin Los Pedroches) and Huelva. It also lives in the southeast parts of Portugal (Barrancos), where it is referred to as porco de raça alentejana.
Immediately after weaning, the piglets are fattened on barley and maize for several weeks. The pigs are then allowed to roam in pasture and oak groves to feed naturally on grass, herbs, acorns, and roots, until the slaughtering time approaches. At that point, the diet may be strictly limited to olives or acorns for the best quality jamón ibérico, or may be a mix of acorns and commercial feed for lesser qualities.

The hams from the slaughtered pigs are salted and left to begin drying for two weeks, after which they are rinsed and left to dry for another four to six weeks. The curing process then takes at least twelve months, although some producers cure their jamones ibéricos for up to 48 months.

In particular, the ibérico hams from the towns of Guijuelo in the Salamanca province and Jabugo in the Huelva province are known for their consistently high quality and both have their own Denominación de Origen. Almost the entire town of Jabugo is devoted to the production of jamón ibérico; the biggest producer is 5J Sánchez Romero Carvajal. The town’s main square is called La plaza del Jamón.

Characteristics

The hams are labeled according to the pigs’ diet, with an acorn diet being most desirable:
• The finest is called jamón ibérico de bellota (acorn). This ham is from free-range pigs that roam oak forests (called dehesas) along the border between Spain and Portugal, and eat only acorns during this last period. It is also known as jamón ibérico de Montanera. The exercise and diet have a significant impact on the flavor of the meat; the ham is cured for 36 months.
• The next grade is called jamón ibérico de recebo. This ham is from pigs that are pastured and fed a combination of acorns and grain.
• The third type is called jamón ibérico de cebo, or simply, jamón ibérico. This ham is from pigs that are fed only grain. The ham is cured for 24 months.

Additionally, the word puro (pure, referring to the breed) can be added to the previous qualities when both the father and mother of the slaughtered animal are of pure breed and duly registered on the pedigree books held by official breeders.
The term pata negra is also used to refer to jamón ibérico in general, and may refer to any one of the above three types. The term refers to the color of the pigs’ nails, which are white in most traditional pork breeds, but black for the Black Iberian breed. While as a general rule, a black nail should indicate an Ibérico ham, there are cases of counterfeits, with the nails being manually painted.
Jamones de bellota are prized both for their smooth texture and rich, savory taste. A good ibérico ham has regular flecks of intramuscular fat. Because of the pig’s diet of acorns, much of the fat is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol.
The fat content is relatively high compared to jamón serrano, thus giving a rich taste.

Availability in the United States
Until recently, jamón ibérico was not available in the United States (a fact referenced in the movie Perdita Durango, where the ham ofJabugo is praised as “illegal, but delicious”).
Prior to 2005, only pigs raised and slaughtered outside of Spain were allowed to be processed in Spain for export to the United States. In 2005, the first slaughterhouse in Spain, Embutidos y Jamones Fermín, S.L., was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture to produce ibérico ham products for export to the United States.
The first jamones ibéricos were released for sale in the United States in December 2007, with the bellota hams due to follow in July 2008. The basic jamón ibérico is priced upwards of $80 a pound, and the bellota is priced upwards of $99 a pound, making these hams some of the most expensive in the world.

Originally seen on Wikipages