Parmesan cheese is a type of hard cheese inspired by Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese from Parma, Italy. Its color is pale yellow; and it is popularly used as a seasoning added to dishes like spaghetti, Caesar salad and pizza.
Inside the European Union, by law the term Parmesan may only be used to refer to Parmigiano-Reggiano itself; but elsewhere, in particular in the United States, the name has come to mean any of a number of similar Italian-style grating cheeses.
Flavor and uses
Parmesan cheese is prized for its flavor, which is rich in umami sensations. Its use in home cooking throughout the Western world is generally as a condiment with other prepared food dishes, rather than being eaten by itself as in traditional European cheese plates. Kraft Foods is a major North American producer of Parmesan and has been selling it since 1945. As Parmesan is a common garnish for pizzas and other pastas, many major pizza chains such as Pizza Hut offer it with the purchase of any pizza.
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