Where can I buy it?

263
10
Joined Nov 17, 2000
If a person wants to use Parmesan cheese in a recipe, where can it be purchased online? Around here they have little wedges of really stale cheese that is usually beyond the sell-by date. Surely there is a source that a private citizen can order from in reasonable amounts at prices that are bearable.
Any ideas?
 
263
10
Joined Nov 17, 2000
Thanks Shawtycat. I wonder if there is any problem with ordering this in the US. The order form talks about problems with Customs and such.
I would like to find a source of good cheese in the US if possible. I know real Parmesan is imported, and I'd be willing to try that. But is there an American made substitute? Since I'm just cooking in my own home, I probably don't really have to have the absolute real thing. I'm really at a loss here. One thing I do know--the stuff in the grocery store is not very good!
 
2,068
12
Joined Dec 30, 1999
Just to make sure everyone is on the same page...

I assume you are all referring to the highest quality of parmesan which is specifically known as Parmesan (Reggiano) [Italian: "parmigiano reggiano"]. This is by far the highest quality of parmesan you can get.
 
263
10
Joined Nov 17, 2000
Yes, cchiu, that's the cheese alright. It's just that I don't want to place an order that has my credit card number going to Europe or somewhere. That's probably typical small-town thinking, but it bothers me.
Since there are only the two of us, it seems kind of wasteful to order a big wheel of cheese that would never get used. I don't know much about storing cheese or how long it will keep. I'm just wanting to make some sauces that call for Parmesan cheese and I can't buy it here.
 
467
10
Joined Jan 11, 2002
Marzoli,
of course I can't suggest you any place in US where you can find Parmesan, but maybe can help you to choose something true and good.

The generic name of the cheese like Parmigiano is "Formaggio Grana", which indicates not only the Parmigiano Reggiano (which is the best and oldest one, born in the Middle Age in the city of Parma) but many similar types of cheese, made in other places in Italy and abroad. Many years ago, there was even a Grana cheese made in Argentina and named "Regianito"!

Apart from Parmigiano Reggiano, the only other which has a reliable good quality is the "Grana Padano" which is made in the southern provinces of Lombardia and which has reached, in the last decades, a quality that's pretty close to the Parmigiano.

Those two brands are both made by a consortium of producers and are protected by a Copyright. How can you recognize the real ones? It's easy: they have branded on their crust the mark, "PARMIGIANO REGGIANO" or "GRANA PADANO". You must find on your piece, if it's not too small, some letters of the brand, otherwise it's likely you're buying bad stuff.

Another advice: consider that in Italy (where it's surely cheaper than in US) a first quality Parmigiano Reggiano costs about $ 10 a pound, so if you are paying it less probably it's something ordinary...

Pongi
 
386
11
Joined May 11, 2001
marzoli,

www.igourmet.com seems to have decent prices and they have excellent products. I've been contemplating buying from them for quite some time, but then I found that I could go to St. Louis or even the local Sam's Club and get decent cheese without paying for shipping. The parmigiano-reggiano is $10.95 for 1 lb plus shipping.

I have been told that they have excellent customer service and turn around time.
 
467
10
Joined Jan 11, 2002
Ah! I forgot that the easiest way to store parmesan for a long time is freezing it. This could be not a good idea if you want to serve it plain as a table cheese, but if you're supposed to use it grated or add it to other ingredients, you can order also a big amount as it keeps very well for a long time. The most convenient system is grating all your piece and freezing it divided in small plastic bags (this way you can use it without thawing), otherwise you can cut it in smaller pieces and freeze them sealed in aluminum foil.

Pongi
 
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