Today is marked clearly as tax day however I do like to look on the glass as half full of milk side. So it is with glee that today’s calendar marks the start of milking season for Parmigiano-Reggiano.
The milking season runs from April 15 to about November 11 ensuring that the unpastuerized milk produced comes only from fresh pasture. The cheese started today is aged 14 months. The cheese wheel is removed from its mold after a few days, washed with brine over the course of several weeks forming a rind. The wheels are then placed on very tall wooden shelves and are brushed and turned throughout the aging process. (See the video — imagine the aroma!)
This short and informative video was produced by Cravero Cheese Cellars (there’s some very artistic b&w photos of the terroir and process at that link) who have been doing so for 150 years.