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Parmigiano Reggiano - Page 2

post #31 of 50
LOL Shel! Back in the 60's and early 70's my family was pretty much southernese. Things like "Eye-talian" food were very glamorous and exotic ;) and we thought the cheese was pronounce "Par-meeee-see-ann" Cheese! :D so I think maybe for some of us learning about new things just takes time and introduction plus having a budget that allows you to spend more on luxuries like parmigiano reggiano! Not all of us can afford authentic stuff!
post #32 of 50
Luc
You mentioned that you bought some rennet.
Was it the real stuff from rumminent animal stomach, or the synthetic type?

Cat Man
post #33 of 50
Of course Mr. Cat, I went for the real stuff to establish a point of reference and start as authentic as possible and learn the science and art of cheese making (the art comes usually second)

description and ingredient statement:
pure calf rennet powder
The ingredient list for rennet powder is:
salt (sodium chloride)
dried extract of rennet enzymes (bovine chymosin, bovine pepsin)
bovine gelatine (processing aid)

I ordered it only last Friday. I should get it this week (regular post)
I purchased 100g which 2 or 3 g can coagulate 100Lt of whole milk.

Good thing I have a lab balance (digital precision scale) in my kitchen.

Luc
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #34 of 50
Luc, I hope you will post your results. Sounds like a fun experiment. What kind of cheese will you be starting with? Where will you be getting your milk from? Are you sticking to cow or are you exploring goat and/or sheep?
post #35 of 50
Hi Anneke,

(I didn't think this experiment would generate some interest...)

I will probably start with the most simple: cream cheese/neufchatel (it uses rennet) then followed closely with feta then mozzarella.

I will use plain cow's whole milk for my first trials. I know myself too well that after any success, I will start hunting for goat and raw milk. My wife loves a good chèvre (goat cheese). That is one goal and parmesan is another.

Posting my results is a good idea. I've been doing yogurt now for close a year. I have a hard time going back to the commercial stuff. (Maybe I can post that recipe first... no equipment required really)
Luc
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #36 of 50
If you have a chance, try making sheep milk yogurt. There's nothing like it. If possible, try to get the freshest milk you possibly can, preferebly less than 24 hours old. It will make a huge difference, particularly with your ripened cheese when you are ready to conquer that category. I co-teach a cheese appreciation class; one of our students picked home cheesemaking as her class project. We were all quite impressed with her results. She made fromage frais with cow and goat milk. Her observation: you always underestimate how much whey you end up with. The good news is that whey is delicious and very healthy so don't throw it out. Make ricotta with it perhaps... Good luck Luc!

PS: Guelph University is a great resource if you want to learn more about home cheese making.
post #37 of 50
Hi Anneke.

I know Guelph U. (thanks for the tip)
Being in Québec, I can also rely on many other sources of information like St-Hyacinth, MacDonald Campus (McGill) and more.
I tend to try my hand first, learn from my mistake and redo. I always have an experiment going at home. (I used to cultivate my own yeast when making beer, I had a library of 12 strains at one time)
I teach only one course in food science at college (CEGEP) and family nutrition/home cooking/simple food science in the evenings. I have recently made a career change out of the food industry (20years).
I only work part time (eventually I hope to make a living in food science/teaching)

Thanks for reminding me about the whey.

Luc
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #38 of 50
Thread Starter 
The same can be said for my family. I worked in a (Bi-Lo) grocery store where I grew up in Georgia and can't recall ever seeing any real parmesan. Same goes for other stores, I shopped in. Between lack of availability in small towns and cost, I can see why people go with the green can. Heck, I just now found the aged 18 months and haven't seen any other kinds at that store or others. I live in a rural area of Indiana now. Some things just aren't available and people make do with what they have and can find.
post #39 of 50
Thread Starter 
Luc, please do share your experiments! I think it sounds very interesting!
post #40 of 50
Yep allie if I had to guess, Kraft wanted to bring this product to the masses. But in order to do that they had to make it cost efficient to produce at a price the market (mass/broad appeal) would bear (which for mid to low mid class is pretty inexpensive comparitively speaking). So hence all the additives and the speed of production/aging etc. So you have a reasonably acceptable facsimile for the price point.
post #41 of 50
Thread Starter 
Well, I learned this weekend that my fears of change were warranted. I started getting low on the parmesan and went in hoping to get some more. I've noticed they had reduced it little by little over time and the last time I bought it the price was only $2.99/lb. There was none on the shelf and I asked an associate if they were no longer carrying it. He said that at $2.99/lb they still couldn't get anyone to buy it so will no longer carry that product. I am so disappointed. This was my only source close to home without driving 45+ miles. Now my family is convinced this is the only way to go so the cheap green can will no longer work for them. Les spent some time searching online and found some pretty good prices if you buy a pound at the time. Having never ordered from those companies and never tasted the products they carry, I am a bit wary. What do we do now that we've aquired this taste?
post #42 of 50
Devil-
They're about $12 at any good kitchen store- or woodworkers store. They started as a wood rasp until the people at Lee Valley pointed out how good they are in the kitchen.

Try one, you'll never be without it. When you're not cooking, you can do woodwork.

Mike
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #43 of 50
Hi Allie,

There are a few good, reputable sources for buying Reggiano on line, and were I in your position, that's what I'd do. Murray's Cheese in NYC is a source I'd highly recommend. The last time i checked, Murray's had two or three Reggianos at different price points. If you're feeling adventurous, get a half pound of each and do a little taste test to see which you like best.

There are numerous things to learn about Reggiano. I hope you'll take some time to research how the cheese is made, something about the taste of different ages and the seasons in which the cheese is produced, maybe even some of the producers.

Reggiano is truly one of the world's greatest cheeses.

shel.
post #44 of 50
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the recommendation, Shel. It will probably be after Christmas before I can really afford to order much of anything except gifts. lol I'm bookmarking the site and will definitely check it out. Ordering will be a lot easier than driving so far to try and find what I need.
post #45 of 50
I know people like that to this day ...


shel
post #46 of 50
Here is a link to the Consorzio, in case yall aint seen it yet. I got lots of great pictures from this site once. Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano The button for English is in the bottom right hand side.
________________IRONCHEFATL___
How come "dishwasher" is not listed as a choice for culinary experience?

"...the very genesis of our art."
- Escoffier on grilling
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________________IRONCHEFATL___
How come "dishwasher" is not listed as a choice for culinary experience?

"...the very genesis of our art."
- Escoffier on grilling
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post #47 of 50
Great link! Thanks ....

shel
post #48 of 50

Wi PR vs ITL PR

A cheese made in Italy can only be called a PM if it has aged at least 12 months. Most good cheesemakers age it 24. Someone earlier posted that cheeses aged less than 24 months were called Stravecchio and were somehow inferior. Actually "vecchio" means "old" in Italian. Real Stravecchios are aged 30 months or more. Costco sells a good one here in the SF Bay Area at a very good price. Any US cheese that calls itself Straveccio is pretty much a hurried bogus cheese when compared to Italian. Some win prizes, yes, but they are competing with other less than superior products. Good PM = time ... time = $. That said I use domestic Parmasians and Romanas when cooking, but for grated on the top stuff...only 2+ year old Italian. I'm a 60 year old 1/2 Italian guy with a grandfather from Parma so I may be a little biased. We always had a spare wheel sitting around (have to let the flies hatch out ya know) waiting to replace the one we were using (we supplied the extended family) ...they were shipped by relatives in Parma. Ah, the good old days. :-)
post #49 of 50
Well, the indispensible Cook's Illustrated just published a Q & A on PR substitutes (Nov-Dec'07)

They tested Grana Padano, an Italian cheese aged from 9 to 24 months and goes for about $12/pound, and Reggianito, an Argentine cheese made using northern Italy's techniques. It's aged no more than 12 months and goes for about $7/lb.

They pay about $17/lb for their "favorite grocery-store PM."

The Gran Padano they judged just fair, and not really worth the relatively small savings over the PR.

The Reggianito was unacceptable at any price. :eek:

I can buy a real PM sliced off their wheel at a local Italian deli/market for $12/lb and consider myself lucky. :bounce:

Mike
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #50 of 50
It's not hard to find Reggiano here starting from around $12.00/lb as well. Trader Joe's is now carrying a Strevecchio for just a little more than that.

shel
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