Parmesan - Italian cheese used in the preparation of many dishes and giving them an amazing savory taste. This product is quite expensive, which is why it is sometimes necessary to replace it with another, more affordable analogue. So what kind of cheese can replace parmesan?
Production technology of Parmesan
In the production of parmesan used milk cows that were born and raised in Italy. Every year, the process of cheese making starts on April 1st. Evening milk yield on the eve of this day is left for the night, and in the morning they remove the formed cream and combine it with whole morning milk. Then the resulting mixture is heated to a temperature of 35 degrees and a leaven of the calf's gastric juice is gradually introduced into it.
After the cheese clot is formed, the mass is cut into small pieces and heated to a temperature of 50 degrees. During the cooking of cheese, which lasts about 1 hour, periodically remove the whey. Then the cheese is wrapped in cloth and kept for 2-3 hours. After that, Parmesan is put in a wooden container with small needles, where it is stored for several days. Maturation of the product occurs on the shelves and lasts 1-3 years.
- "fresh" Fresco (1-1.5 years old);
- "old" Vecchio (1.5-2 years old);
- "very old" Stravecchio (2-3 years old).
During the exposure time, the weight of the cheese is significantly reduced, but visually it is almost not noticeable. A standard circle of parmesan weighs approximately 38-40 kg.
Making parmesan is under the strict control of experts. If even the slightest defect takes place, for example, a crack, the cheese is crushed and handed over for sale when hung. The selection is carried out according to very strict rules, and the samples that are tested are marked with a special quality mark - the abbreviation DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta).
The composition and calorie content of Italian cheese
Parmesan has a granular structure, so it is quite brittle. With its rich flavor and aroma, this cheese is primarily a source of natural protein, rich in essential amino acids. Parmesan is very useful for athletes who seek to increase muscle mass, as well as those who wish to correct the figure.
The composition of the delicious cheese also includes fat-soluble vitamins A, B, D, E, PP, K, beneficial effects on metabolism, trace elements - selenium, manganese, iron, copper and mineral substances - calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium. To cover the daily need for calcium and phosphorus, it is enough to eat 90 grams of Parmesan. That is why it is especially useful for people prone to osteoporosis, pregnant and lactating women, as well as older people. An average of 392 kilocalories per 100 g of cheese.
Parmesan is a fairly salty cheese, as it is soaked in salt solutions. Attention should be paid to those who are contraindicated in large salt intake. Also in the composition of this product is a substance that can cause a migraine. By the way, it is also contained in Roquefort cheese. It is not recommended to eat Parmesan for children who have a tendency to diathesis and people who do not tolerate dairy products.
What kind of food is Parmesan added to?
The fragile granular structure and original taste make parmesan an ideal product that is used in many Italian dishes. Most often it is used for sprinkling pastes, risotto, polente or pizzas, as well as some meat or fish dishes cooked in the oven. Another advantage of this cheese is that when melting it does not acquire a viscous consistency and does not leave lumps.
In addition, Parmesan can act as one of the ingredients of various salads, for example, "Caesar" and even some soups. At home of this product (Emilia-Romagna region), Parmesan, walnuts, pears or grapes dessert is very popular. This product is also an excellent self-serving snack served with wine.
What can replace it?
Parmesan is a product with unique taste characteristics, and therefore it is simply impossible to replace it with another cheese. The only dishes in which the recipe you need to add chopped parmesan, you can put another cheese. So, in dishes where cheese should be melted - lasagna, pasta or pizza, Lithuanian "Dzhyugas" or "Rokiškis" are best used, any hard Dutch cheese can also be suitable.
When cooking salads, risotto or any other dishes that require parmesan to be cut into thin plates, you can replace it with Italian “Grana Padano” cheese, which is similar to parmesan in structure and taste. With the same purpose, seasoned Swiss cheese Gruyere, featuring a nutty flavor and a sharp savory aroma. However, it is more yellow in color than Parmesan, and the technology for its preparation is completely different.
Knowing what can replace parmesan in your favorite dishes, for example, Caesar salad or pasta, you can often delight yourself and your loved ones with recipes of Italian cuisine! But you need to understand that since this type of cheese has a unique taste, texture and aroma, it is unlikely that it will be possible to choose a completely identical analogue.