Parmesan cheese, a hard, thick-crusted Italian cow's milk cheese, has a sharp, salty, full flavor resulting from up to 2 years of aging. It takes its name from the city of Parma, though it originated midway between that city and Reggio, where the finest Italian variety, Parmigiano-Reggiano(r), is produced. Buy in block form, to grate fresh as needed.
To shave Parmesan cheese:
Use a vegetable peeler to pare paper-thin sheets from a piece of Parmesan.To grate Parmesan cheese: Draw a piece of Parmesan against the holes of a handheld grater. Or, use a rotary cheese grater.For other cheese varieties, see American, añejo, asadero, bel paese, blue, brousse de brebis, cabrales, caciotta, cheddar, colby, cotija, cream, Emmenthaler, farmer, feta, fontina, goat, Gorgonzola, Gorgonzola dolcelatte, gouda, gruyère, Jarlsberg, kasseri, Kefalotiri, manchego, mascarpone, Maytag, mizithra, Monterrey jack, mozzarella, panela, pecorino, provolone, queso fresco, ricotta, romano, roquefort, Stilton, Swiss, and taleggio cheeses.