This is one of the comments I heard Saturday at Borough market in London where the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese “vacche rosse” has been presented. A man in his 60’, eyes closed when tasting the rare cheese could not have found anything to say more appropriate .
Because the taste of a 30 months aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is a unique symphony which involves the 5 senses.
You can see the colour is different because of what the cow ate and because of the season, from white in winter to a pale yellow in the summer period, this is because the cows feeding is based on hay and grass coming from the permanent grass-lands of Parma and Reggio territory that can contain up to 150 different herbs and essences.
You can hear the sound of the crystals being crushed when chewing the cheese, you can smell the distinctive aroma and finally taste the flavour: the cheese is tasty without being hot also when it’s at an advanced maturation (32-36 months).
“Vacche rosse” is an ancient cattle’s breed , the animal has an uniform red fur from which it gets the name of “Red cow“ and “Red Cows” Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is sold to public only after minimum 2 years of maturation and the production is limited, so do not miss your titbit.
What it seemed odd to me is considering Parmigiano Reggiano cheese as a luxury good and see people buy 150gr of it, I know the price here is prohibitive but you can avoid the problem visiting Parma and Reggio Emilia and bring back a decent portion for a more affordable price, at least a kilo of of 24 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano as people there normally buy.
Curiosity: at my parents’ place (north of Reggio Emilia), we used to refer at Parmigiano Reggiano as “cheese” without the name, all other kind of cheeses have a name like Camambert , Emmenthal but if you hear a sentence like: “Would you pass me the cheese” or “Do not miss to buy the cheese” you know they are talking about The Cheese, other ones are merely cheeses.