Have you tried Parmesan in your dishes? This Italian cheese is the most well-known of all the hard cheeses, and is used in food preparations virtually worldwide. Gruyère and Emmental are other popular choices of hard cheese. Many cheeses strongly reflect their geographical origin in the names and the flavourful hard cheeses are no exception. Original Parmesan cheese hails from the Parma and Reggiano Emilia regions of northern Italy, while Gruyère dates back to the medieval town Gruyère in western Switzerland. Nowadays, similar cheeses are produced in many places and they’re used on a variety of occasions. The granular texture of the Parmesan cheese family makes it ideal as a grating cheese, but hard cheeses in general can also be savoured on their own, in cooking or served as a snack with fruit and crackers.
Significant for all hard cheeses is the low moisture content, usually below 35%, and they’re often aged for months to intensify their rich flavour. Hard cheeses are manufactured in a similar way to semi-hard cheeses, but a larger amount of whey is drained from the curd before the cheese block is formed. The cheese block is also subjected to higher levels of pressing and longer ripening times compared to other kinds of cheese. They have a long shelf life and will continue developing their flavor as they age.
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