Parmigiano Reggiano, just one of Bologna’s great gifts to the world
Few realize that Parmigiano Reggiano, the famous crumbly cheese of Emilia Romagna and the backbone of Bolognese cooking, can only be produced in that region.
It’s true that European Law prohibits anyone else from labeling their cheese as Parmigiano Reggiano.
But the fact of the matter is that only the “terroir” of Emilia Romagna — the unique combination of soil, climate, and exposure — can produce the crumbly stuff.
To the north of the Po River, on the Lombardy side of the river valley, they make a similar cheese using the exact same method. It’s called Grana Padano but it can never achieve the same texture or flavor of Parmigiano Reggiano.
We’ll be stuffing our tortellini with Parmigiano Reggiano and layering our lasagne with Parmigiano Reggiano at the March 6 Bologna dinner hosted by Tony Vallone, the latest in his series of “Italian regional cuisine” dinners.