Do you know the meaning of the words “Mezzano” or “Bleached”? Here are their main distinguishing features:

After 12 months inside the maturing warehouses, the forms of Parmigiano Reggiano are subjected to the expert eye of the Consortium’s beaters, who are responsible for checking the forms. This control is called “expertization”, an examination that identifies 3 categories of cheese:

The “premium” Parmigiano Reggiano: completely compliant with the indications of the Production Regulations, it is marked with a fire stamp, that means a cheese with a compact texture and characteristics corresponding to the specification, suitable for facing long aging to be appreciated both in direct consumption at the table and in gastronomic preparations such as grated cheese. The wheels therefore have the marks of origin such as the dotted writing, casein plaque and the oval brand imprinted with fire.

The “Mezzano”: it is a full-fledged Parmigiano, which while maintaining its typical organoleptic characteristics intact, has minor defects in the structure of the pasta or on the rind, without significant alterations, for this reason it is intended only for short aging.

The product still bears the oval mark of the DOP mark, the dotted writing “Parmigiano-Reggiano” and the oval mark embossed on the surface of the wheel, but it is distinguished from the first choice thanks to the parallel grooves, which are indelibly traced on the heel of the last.

Bleached cheese: it is the cheese that has significant defects, for this reason it is disqualified by eliminating the marks of origin by milling the rind. In this way, it cannot be defined as Parmigiano Reggiano, the defects it presents don’t allow it to stay within the limits set by the regulation and it can no longer have any reference to the DOP. Also known as “Italian table cheese”, although it is a good product it must be sold as “Italian hard cheese” or generally cheese and not as bleached Parmigiano Reggiano.