If stored in the refrigerator, Parmigiano Reggiano should be removed some time before tasting so that it reaches a temperature of 16-17°C. When the cheese is served during a social situation, it is best chunked with the classic almond-shaped knife which will enhance the characteristic graininess of Parmigiano Reggiano. If presenting samples at different stages of maturation, they should be arranged on serving dishes or trays in order of age – from the most delicate to the most mature.

The tasting can either follow the steps of an evaluation sheet or it can be carried out freely. In both cases, each facet of the sensory complexity of Parmigiano Reggiano can be best identified by adhering to the following tasting sequence:

  • Observing the sample
  • Holding it with both hands and deforming it with the fingertips
  • Breaking it in two and judging its smell
  • Biting a small piece off and deforming it with the teeth
  • Chewing and moving it around the mouth
  • Evaluating the aroma and overall persistence, while expelling air from the nose Evaluating the intensity of the fundamental tastes and trigeminal sensations Distinguishing the textural characteristics perceived in the mouth
  • Swallowing the sample and evaluating any aftertaste

When the tasting involves multiple samples, it is advisable to eat a small piece of breadstick and to drink a glass of water in between samples so as to nullify the taste and eliminate the feeling of saturation in the mouth.

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