Pure Parmesan

by Jill Warren Lucas in Cheese

At Southern Season, when you buy a chunk of Parmesan cheese, you get 100 percent premium Italian cheese chosen by our Cheesemonger in Residence to deliver exceptional flavor and quality. “We’ve heard from customers who are concerned about reports of wood pulp in some commercial brands of pre-packaged grated cheese,” says Dany Schutte, who is based at Southern Season’s Richmond, Virginia, store. “We stock only the best cheeses available from authentic sources.”

As reported by numerous news sources, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating some companies that produce products labeled as “100 percent real Parmesan.” A few brands have been found to contain excessive amounts of cellulose, an anti-clumping additive made from wood pulp, as well as less expensive filler cheese. While not necessarily dangerous for consumption, such products are not consistent with Southern Season’s premium quality standards.

Schutte has selected a Parmigiano Reggiano produced by Giorgio Cravero as the signature cheese available at our stores. The Cravero family has been producing wheels of the highest quality aged cheeses since 1855. “We choose his wheels because he exceeds the minimum requirement of the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, flipping and rubbing down his wheels every two days instead of the required two weeks,” Schutte explains. “He also matures them longer. The flavor profile is deeper, nuttier and sweeter.”

The cheese is available in a range of sizes to suit customer needs. While Cheese Departments offer grated cheese for grab-and-go convenience, Schutte recommends grating or shredding the cheese just before use for maximum flavor.