Cheese Glossary: The Letter P

Today we are continuing with our cheese glossary!

Parmesan

Parmesan

Parmesan Cheese is a hard, dry cheese, which has a complex, sharp, nutty flavor and a somewhat grainy texture. It is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. Starter whey, containing thermophilic lactic acid bacteria, and rennet is added to separate the curds. These are then compacted and placed into molds. The wheels are placed into brine baths for up to 25 days where they absorb the salt. After brining, each cheese is aged for 12 months.

Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese gets its name from the Italian regions of production: Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, and Mantova. It originated in the Middle Ages, at least 700 years ago. It was first made by monks in Reggio Emilia, with production spreading to the Parma and Modena regions. With the exception of new production equipment and technology, the basic process to make the cheese has changed very little in the hundreds of years since.

A Parmesan Consortium was created in 1934 which regulates the production of authentic Parmesan Cheese and inspects all of the cheese produced by nearly 800 cheese producers. Parmigiano Reggiano is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese in the European Union, which legally requires the cheese to be produced in certain regions of northern Italy in order to be labeled as Parmigiano Reggiano. Outside of Europe, the phrase “Parmesan Cheese” may be used to refer to any hard grating cheese.

Pasteurization

A process of treating food or drinks with mild heat to extend their shelf life.

Penicillium

A group of molds used in various processes including food production.

Penicillium Camemberti

A white mold that is used to make CamembertBrieLangresCoulommiers, and Cambozola cheeses.

Penicillium Glaucum

A mold that is used to make cheeses including Gorgonzola.

Penicillium Roqueforti

A mold used in the production of Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Stilton, and Danish Blue.

Pressed

A cheese there the curd is placed in a mold and pressed to form the shape of the finished cheese.

Provolone

Provolone Cheese, like mozzarella, is a pulled or stretched curd cheese with two varieties. Dolce (mild Provolone) is aged for just two to three months. It is a semi-soft, mild, smooth table cheese. Piccante is aged for six to twelve months and has a much stronger flavor.

The term Provolone (meaning large provola) appeared around the end of the 19th century when it started to be manufactured in the southern regions of Italy. Modern Provolone has smooth skin and is produced mainly in the regions of Lombardia and Veneto. It is produced in different shapes. Some are like a very large sausage which may be up to 30 cm (1 ft) in diameter and 90 cm (3 ft) long, whilst others come in a truncated bottle shape or a large pear shape which has a characteristic round knob for hanging.

Provolone cheese can be made with buffalo or cow’s milk, or a mixture of the two. Once the curds and whey have been separated, the curd is kneaded and stretched while still hot. The cheese is bathed in brine before a wax or plastic rind is added to the outside. It is tied up with rope and hung in the aging cellar.

Proteolysis

This is the process of casein protein breaking down into other compounds including peptides and amino acids, that give cheese flavor.

Pungent

This describes a particularly sharp aroma of cheese.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *