Pumpkin Soup with Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano

O - P

Oka

Oka is a Canadian, semi-soft, cows milk cheese with a washed rind. It was originally created in the late 1800s by French Trappist monks in the town of Oka in Quebec. Derived from the French cheese Port Salut, Oka has a soft and creamy pate with a rind that is slightly sticky, aromatic and reddish-orange in color. Its flavor is buttery and nutty. There are four types of Oka produced:

  • Regular: Made from both raw and pasteurized milk and aged for 1 month
  • Classic: Unpasteurized, and aged for two months
  • Light: Made with only pasteurized milk that is partially skimmed
  • Providence: The creamiest version of this cheese

Country: Canada
Region: Quebec
Texture: Semi-Soft
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 1 month
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Old Amsterdam

Old Amsterdam is an aged Gouda style cheese made from pasteurized cows milk. It is a Dutch cheese named after the capital city and the cheese is produced in the province of North Country in the west of the country. It is aged for approximately two years and regularly checked during the ripening process. It is a quality controlled cheese and can only be sold when the cheeses meet the criteria and therefore is labeled with with "Premier Grand Cru Classé". It has tiny salt crystals which form naturally and give added flavor and texture to the dense body. Old Amsterdam has an ivory colored pate with rich, nutty, robust flavor with hints of caramel and butterscotch and firm texture.

Country: Holland
Region: North Holland
Texture: Hard
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 24 months
Pasteurized: Yes 

Ossou-Iraty

Ossou-Iraty is an AOC sheep milk cheese from the western Pyrenees Mountains in France. The milk for this cheese may only be processed twenty days after lambing. The AOC regulations extend to two areas within the mountain range. Ossou is in Bearn and Iraty is in the French Basque region. Its pate is ivory colored and semi-firm with a flavor that is rich and nutty with undertones of caramel. It is also commonly referred to as Istara, which is the name of the most popular company that produces this cheese. 

Country: France
Region: Pyrenees Mountains
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging Time: At least 3 Months
Pasteurized: Both versions are produced


P'tit Basque

P’tit Basque is a pasteurized sheep milk cheese from the French Pyrenees. It is a relatively new cheese that was first released in 1997 and manufactured by the Lactalis Company. It is a semi-firm, washed rind cheese that is coated in wax that looks like a basket weave to retain its moisture and to prevent it from creating a moldy rind. The cheese is manufactured in small wheels that are approximately three inches high and two to three inches in diameter. Each wheel only weighs around 1.5 pounds. The pate is ivory colored and smooth with a sweet and fragrant aroma. Its texture is creamy yet dense with a well-balanced sweet and salty flavor.

Country: France
Region: Pyrenees Mountains
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging time: Approximately 60 – 70 days
Pasteurized: Yes

Paglietina

Paglietina is a tuma cheese, made in the province of Cuneo in the Piedmont region of Italy using a combination of cow, goat and sheep milk. Aged for just a few days, this cheese has creamy, elastic and supple pate with a rind that is straw colored in appearance and appearance in texture. Rich and aromatic, every piece is hand wrapped and tied with natural twine. Produced by the La Bottera creamery, this cheese has also carried the name Vera Pagliettina and Palliettin Cremosa.

Country: Italy
Region: Piedmont
Texture: Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Cow, Goat, Sheep
Aging time: 1 week
Pasteurized: Yes

Parmigiano Reggiano

Arguably the most popular cheese in the world, Parmigiano Reggiano is also nicknamed the "king of cheeses". It is a hard, DOC, cows milk cheese named after the town of Parma and produced in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, and Mantua. The milk used is unpasteurized, and comes from free-range cows. The milk is left overnight so that the cream can be skimmed off the next day and added with the fresh morning milk, making it a partially skim mixture. The texture of Parmigiano Reggiano is hard and grainy and its flavors are rich, nutty, and sweet with undertones of salt. It is a very versatile cheese as it commonly used as a grating cheese in the United States but primarily a table cheese in Europe. As with all aged cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano intensifies in flavor and dry out as the cheese ages longer. There are three categories of ripeness for this cheese:

  • "Fresco" - Aged between 12 and 18 months
  • "Vecchio" - Aged between 18 and 24 months
  • "Stravecchio" - Aged between 24 and 36 months

There are many imitations of this Parmigiano Reggiano, such as Parmesan (found in the United States and usually pre-grated with higher salt content) and Reggianito (manufactured in Argentina and much younger and milder).

Country: Italy
Region: Parts of Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy
Texture: Hard
Aging Time: 12-36 Months
Pasteurized: No

Parrano

Parrano is a cow's milk Gouda style cheese from produced in the Netherlands. Made exclusively by one of the largest Dutch cheese companies, Uniekaas,  it is a firm cheese with a golden colored pate. Its flavor is somewhat mild and nutty with salty undertones and is marketed as a Dutch cheese with Italian influences. It is described as a balance between Gouda and Parmesan. There are three clasifications of this cheese:

  • Parrano Originale – Aged for 5 months
  • Parrano Robusto – Aged for 9 months
  • Parrano Olifesta – Aged for 5 months and blended with sun-dried tomatoes, Italian herbs, and olive oil


Parrano Originale is the most common version found in the United States.

Country: Holland
Region: Northern Holland
Texture: Firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 5 months
Pasteurized: Yes

Pecora Bella

Pecora Bella is an Italian sheep milk cheese from the island of Saridinia. It is a hard cheese that has a very rich flavor and is not as salty as typical pecorinos. Its texture is dense and granular. Its appearance has a dark rind with a pate that is a light ivory color.  Translated as the “beautiful ewe”, Pecora Bella is aged two months to develop its rich and nutty flavor that has subtle nuances of saltiness and sweetness.

Country: Italy
Region: Sardinia
Texture: Semi-Hard
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging time: 2 months
Pasteurized: Yes

Pecorino Re Nero

Pecorino Re Nero is an Italian, pasteurized, sheep’s milk cheese. Produced by the Il Forteto Cooperative in the Tuscan town of Mugello, Pecorino Re Nero is semi-hard in texture and ivory colored in appearance and is covered with a thin black wax coating.  This cheese was traditionally made using dark ash and olive sediment to create its coating. This cheese is aged for three months with a nutty and salty flavor and a rustic and herbaceous finish.

Country: Italy
Region: Tuscany
Texture: Semi-Hard
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging time: 3 months
Pasteurized: Yes

Pecorino Romano

Most famously known as a grating cheese, Pecorino Romano is a DOP sheep milk cheese comes from the provinces of Lazio and Sardinia. It was originally produced only in the Italian region of Lazio, the area surrounding and including the city of Rome. In 1884, the Italian Government issued a restriction on the salting of cheese inside shops in Rome, and many producers were forced to move to the island of Sardinia. When the restriction was lifted, the producers remained but the milk sourced for the cheese is exclusive to the two regions and a small portion of southern Tuscany. Made from pasteurized sheep milk and aged for at least 8 months, this cheese develops a very hard texture with a salty flavor. One of the most popular cheeses in Italy, Pecorino Romano is a classic ingredient for many Italian pasta dishes, particularly those from the Roman region in Italy.

Country: Italy

Region: Sardinia, Lazio, & Province of Grosseto in Tuscany

Texture: Hard

Type of Milk: Sheep

Aging time: 8 months

Pasteurized: Yes

Perla Grigia

This is an Italian, semi-soft cheese from the Veneto region of Italy.  Made using cow’s milk, this cheese is mixed with truffle shavings and then coated with various spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and ash to preserve it and add a different flavor component to the cheese.  This cheese's name, “Perla Grigia”, means “gray pearl”, and is in reference to the appearance of the cheese. The pate is ivory in color and smooth in texture with a flavor is creamy and slightly rustic with undertones of truffle.

Country: Italy

Region: Veneto

Texture: Semi-Soft

Type of Milk: Cow

Aging Time: At least 60 days

Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Petit Billy

Petit Billy is a fresh goat’s milk cheese from the Loire region in France. It is a relatively new cheese that was first introduced in 1986 and has quickly become a very popular cheese. Because it is fresh, the cheese has no rind and a bright white pate. The milk is sourced from the Saanen breed of goats which are considered to be of high quality. When the cheese is at its freshest, its texture can resemble a slightly firmer version of ricotta cheese. As it ages, Petit Billy loses moisture and becomes firmer in texture and stronger in flavor. The cheese is milky and rich with a slight tangy finish.

Country: France
Region: Loire
Texture: Fresh
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging time: 2 weeks

Pasteurized: Yes

Piave

Piave  is an Italian, cows milk, mountain cheese that is named after the river Piave, in Belluno Italy.  The area surrounding the river is also where the milk is collected to produce Piave. The pate straw colored and the cheese has a full nutty flavor that intensifies with age.  Once fully aged, it becomes hard and is very comparable to a sharp cheddar or Parmigiano Reggiano. There are four classifications of this cheese that are determined based on its maturity:

  • Fresco (fresh) variety 30-60 days aging
  • Mezzano (medium) variety 60-180 days aging but typically closer to 180 days
  • Vecchio (mature) variety aged over 180 days
  • Vecchio Oro del Tempo (extra-mature) variety aged over 12 months


The two most common forms of this cheese are the Piave Mezzano and the Piave Vecchio.

County: Italy
Region: Veneto
Texture: Typically Hard
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 30 days
Pasteurized: Yes

Pierre Robert

Pierre Robert is a French triple-crème style cows milk cheese. It is a pasteurized cheese that is enriched with cream with a white, velvety and pillowy rind.  This cheese was invented by Brillat-Savarin cheesemakers, Robert Rouzaire and his friend Pierre. Made in small, 1 pound wheels, this cheese is aged for three weeks, resulting in a rich, buttery flavor that is smooth, mild, and slightly tangy. Its pate is soft yet dense and similar to the texture of La Tur, Rochetta, and Camilla. Because of its mild and buttery flavor, it is a cheese that is paired well with Champagne.

Country: France
Region: Ile-de-France
Texture: Semi-Soft Bloomy Rind
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: About 3 weeks
Pasteurized: Yes

Piz Bever

Piz Bever is a Swiss mountain cheese produced in, Graubuenden, Switzerland's largest and easternmost canton. Made from unpasteurized cow milk in dairy farms at over 1000 metres above sea level, it is a hard, alpine cheese with a rich, nutty, and slightly tangy flavor. White to ivory-colored pate with a slight scattering of small holes or "eyes", and a brown to red washed rind. There are two versions of this cheese:

  • Piz Bever Classic: Aged 3-4 months
  • Piz Bever Extra: Aged at least 6 months

Country: Switzerland
Region: Graubuenden
Texture: Semi-Hard
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 3 months
Pasteurized: No

Pont L'Eveque

Pont L'Eveque is an AOC, washed rind, cows milk cheese from the Normandy region in France. This square shaped cheese has been produced for many centuries and is considered to be one of the most popular cheeses in France. References of this cheese in the Middle Ages called it "Angelot" or "Augelot". It adopted the name "Pont L'Eveque", named after the town it was originally produced in, in the 16th or 17th century. Its rind is slightly sticky and ranges from an ivory color to a rich orange color. Its pate is soft and creamy, but not runny. Its flavor is rich and buttery. Its aroma is strong and assertive. There are thee types of this cheese that are classified according to its size:

  • Petit - formed in an approximate 9cm square
  • Demi - formed in an approximate 11cm square
  • Grand - formed in an approximate 20cm square

Country: France
Region: Normandy
Texture: Semi-Soft
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 45 days
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Prima Donna

Prima Donna is a pasteurized, cow's milk cheese made in the style of a Dutch Gouda with lower butterfat.  Gouda requires 48% butterfat and Prima Donna cheeses are made with 45% butterfat. After 14-16 months of aging, the cheese is dipped in wax (to maintain its moisture) and wrapped in the famous reddish pink paper. It closely resembles the Old Amsterdam but it has the characteristics a younger version would possess. It is less sharp and maintains more moisture. The pate has a rich golden color with small holes throughout and the cheese has a nutty flavor with slight undertones of caramel and salt. Its texture is semi-firm and slightly crumbly and the cheese is manufactured in 26lb wheels.

Country: Holland
Region: Province of South Holland
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging time: At least 14-16 months
Pasteurized: Yes

Primo Sale

Primo Sale is an Italian, sheep milk cheese primarily produced in the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. The name itself literally means “first salt” and is used to describe early stages of maturation.  In the Belice Valley in Sicily, before the cheese is salted and taken right out of the mould, the cheese is called “Tuma”. After its first salting, it is called “Primo Sale”. After it is aged, it is referred to as “Vastedda”. Because the cheese is young, it has a bright white colored pate and milky in flavor. It is a rindless cheese that is semi-soft in texture. This cheese is typically made plain or flavored with black or red peppercorns.

Country: Italy
Region: Sicily and Sardinia
Texture: Semi-Soft
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging time: Around 30 days
Pasteurized: Yes

Provolone

Provolone is an Italian pasta-filata cows milk cheese. It originated in the southern region of Basilicata but is now produced all throughout the country. It is produced in a pasta-filata process, similar to mozzarella. The curd is heated us using hot water until it becomes stringy and then formed into its distinguishable shape. It is then dipped in brine, coated in wax, and hung to age. The solid pate has a straw color that becomes darker as it ages. There are three different types of Provolone:

  • "Dolce" - Aged approximately 6 months with a mild and buttery flavor
  • "Piccante" - Aged approximately 1 year with a firmer texture and a much sharper and spicier flavor
  • "Affumicato" - Lightly smoked for about a week, then aged for a further three months.

Country: Italy
Region: All over the country
Texture: Semi-firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 6 months
Pasteurized: Yes