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Parmesan cheese is a type of hard cheese inspired by Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese from Parma, Italy.[1] Its color is pale yellow; and it is popularly used as a seasoning added to dishes like spaghetti, Caesar salad and pizza.[2]

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.[3][4]

Flavor and uses[edit]

Parmesan cheese is prized for its flavor, which is rich in umami sensations.[5] 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.[6][7] As Parmesan is a common garnish for pizzas and other pastas, many major pizza chains such as Pizza Hut offer it.[8]


Soy-based alternatives to Parmesan cheese exist.[9]

See also[edit]