Platter of Parmesan

Known as the king of Italian cheeses, parmesan originated in the Reggio and Parma regions of Italy. Made from part-skim milk and aged over 10 months, it has a granular texture and tastes sweet, buttery and nutty compared to the sharper and more piquant flavor of romano. Parmesan has become very popular in the United States, and Wisconsin leads in the production of award-winning parmesan.



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Pale yellow




Buttery, sweet, nutty, intensifies with age


Serve a bowl of freshly grated parmesan on the table with pasta dishes, steamed vegetables, soups, salads and pizzas. Add freshly grated parmesan to hot garlic mashed potatoes or risotto. Serve parmesan chunks drizzled with a good quality balsamic vinegar.


Beer: Stout, Pilsner, Pale Ale, Weiss Beer, Lager
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Chardonnay, Merlot, Red Zinfandel, Champagne, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Syrah/Shiraz, Sake - Medium Dry, Sherry - Fino, Rioja Red, Malbec
Spirit: Madeira, Scotch, Dark Rum, Light Rum, Rye Whiskey

Performance Notes - In Italy, the fashion is to serve parmesan for dessert with fresh figs, walnuts and a sweet red wine known as Vin Santo. Some commercially grated cheeses contain anticaking ingredients that prevent them from incorporating completely into sauces. Freshly grated cheese produces smoother sauces. Many Wisconsin cheesemakers offer freshly grated parmesan without anticaking ingredients.

Recipes with Parmesan