Food - Drink
The Reason Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Isn't Served
Neatly Sliced
By SYLVIA TOMCZAK
Whether it’s used as a pasta topper, eaten as a snack, or added to a dish for its umami flavor, there's never a wrong time to enjoy Parmigiano Reggiano. However, while you’re busy enjoying this cheese, you may have noticed it’s never served in neat slices, and that’s because there’s a correct (and incorrect) way to slice it.
There’s a knife designated specifically for cutting a shard of Parmigiano Reggiano — called the coltello a mandorla — that has a wooden handle and a short almond-shaped blade that's thin on one side and thicker on the other. It’s the perfect tool for working with the cheese’s dry, granular structure and allows it to flake off effortlessly.
Because you can find Parmigiano aged anywhere from 12 months to 90 months, it can become more crumbly and complex, expressing flavor nuances of spice and even meat, making it a great pairing with red, white, sparkling, or even dessert wine. For proper serving, allow the cheese to rest at room temperature for about an hour to reach about 60 degrees F.