The seasoning takes place inside a warehouse adjacent to the dairy. The wheels mature in the dark, arranged in an orderly fashion on long shelves made from spruce wood planks. The temperature and humidity are constantly monitored, and an air circulation system ensures that the seasoning micro-climate is the same for every wheel, at every level of the warehouse.
As it rests, the outer part of the cheese dries to form a natural rind, which, not having undergone any treatment, is perfectly edible. The wheels are flipped and brushed every ten days to keep the rind clean.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but it is only possible to determine whether it can be called Parmigiano Reggiano, and whether it deserves to bear the Protected Designation of Origin (POD) firebrand, after a year has passed.
. The seasoning ranges from 12 to 36 months, and beyond. Colour-coded labels help to distinguish each individual wheel’s degree of maturation.
Parmigiano Reggiano is naturally lactose-free. The lactose is fermented by the lactic acid bacteria microflora during the first 48 hours after processing. Those who are intolerant to this milk sugar can, therefore, eat it without a second thought, at any degree of seasoning.
* The absence of lactose is the natural conseguence of the typical production process of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Contains galactose in a quantity less then 0,01g/100g.