I was under the impression from what I have read/DOP specification that only rennet was to be used for Parmigiano Reggiano.

Milk coagulation, obtained exclusively by the use of calf rennet, takes place in bell-shaped copper vats; up to two wheels are made for each vat.

Yet, I come across many Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses imported from Italy with the real Reggiano logo and the DOP symbol (e.g. Tre Stelle, Italissima, President's Choice, Compliments, etc.)

Is it just a loophole in the specification and found only in lower-end Parmasen Reggiano?

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The bacterial cultures are what the document you quoted from refers to as "fermented whey". The previous paragraph in the Specification of the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese from the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium web site reads as follows:

Fermented whey is added to the milk, which is a natural culture of lactic ferments obtained from spontaneous acidification of the whey remaining from the cheese-making process of the previous day.

All Paramgiano Reggiano cheeses would have these bacterial cultures in them, not just the cheap ones.

  • I see, that makes sense. Do some just not list it? As well, the President's Choice I linked above has lysoszyme, so still a mystery on that. – Adam Thompson Nov 15 '17 at 3:55
  • 2
    @AdamThompson I'd guess the absence of bacterial cultures in the ingredient list is an oversight. Apparently virtually all Grana Padano cheese uses lysoszyme as a preservative so it appearing on the ingredient list on the web site might just be a cut and paste error. – Ross Ridge Nov 15 '17 at 4:13

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