Did you know that not all breeds of cattle can be used in the production of Parmigiano Reggiano?

According to the Regulations, only native cows from the production area of Parmigiano Reggiano can be used in its production. Let’s find out which those are:

• The White Cow, particularly common in the Modena area of production, it has a totally white coat, a kind of cow that in the past was used either for production of milk, meat, and to work in the fields. It probably derives from cattle similar to the Reggiana Red, crossed with gray cattle. The Modenese white cow is a SlowFood presidium.

• The Red Cow is an autochthonous breed of cattle from northern Italy, in particular from the Reggio area, with a typical rust-colored coat. It is characterized by being particularly robust and efficient and for this reason it was often used to pull plows and carts, as well as supplying meat and milk.

The red cow produces about a third less milk than the Friesian breed, but it is particularly rich in fat and casein, a very important protein in the milk transformation process.

Red Cow Parmigiano Reggiano has a minimum maturation of 24 months, with a high nutritional value and rich in fatty acids.

• The Friesian, spotted white and black or white and red, is the most common breed among Parmigiano Reggiano breeders: imported from Holland, it is known as Friesian as the original strain was found in the Dutch region of Friesland. The first animals arrived in Italy at the end of the nineteenth century, to be bred, but it is in the twentieth century the breed, now acclimatized, definitively established itself for its high productivity and for its milk rich in proteins, calcium and phosphorus, thus becoming the the most widespread dairy breed in Italy and in the Parmigiano Reggiano area.

• The Brown Cow, with its gray / brown coat, more widespread in the Parma area, was introduced in the area around the middle of the 18th century, probably of Swiss origin and coming from Lombardy, these cows were immediately appreciated thanks to their docile temperament and suitable to work in the fields.

On average, they produce less milk than the Friesians, but the goodness of their milk comes from the higher amount of protein contained in it. The cheese yield is significantly higher as it has:

– better incorporation of fat and caseins
– shorter coagulation times
– a less structured, more elastic and consistent curd

The Parmigiano Reggiano that is obtained from the milk of the sole brunette is a cheese rich in nutritional values, in acid fats, with a straw yellow color, sweet on the palate and with a full but at the same time delicate flavor.

The Montecoppe farm has about 600 heads Friesian and Brown and it is committed every day to ensure their well-being in terms of space, care and forage.

The prized Parmigiano Reggiano that we produce, is the result of processing the milk of these two breeds, of which the brunette contributes for 25% to its richness.