According to legend, Parmigiano Reggiano was created in the course of the Middle Ages in Bibbiano, in the province of Reggio Emilia. Its production soon spread to the Parma and Modena areas. Historical documents show that in the 13th-14th century Parmigiano was already very similar to that produced today which suggests that its origins can be traced to far earlier.
It was praised as early as 1348 in the writings of Boccaccio, in the Decameron, he invents a mountain, all of grated Parmesan cheese, on which dwell folk that do nought else but make macaroni and ravioli, and boil them in capon's broth, and then throw them down to be scrambled for, and hard by flows a rivulet of Vernaccia, the best that ever was drunk, and never a drop of water therein.
During the Great Fire of London of 1666, Samuel Pepys buried his Parmazan cheese, as well as his wine and some other things in order to preserve them.
In the memoirs of Giacomo Casanova, he remarked that the name "Parmesan" was a misnomer in his time (mid-18th century) as the cheese was produced in the town of Lodi, not Parma. This comment originates probably from the fact that a grana cheese very similar to the "Parmigiano", the Grana Padano, is produced in the Lodi area.
Parmesan Garlic Mash Potatoes
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon garlic powder
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup sour cream
Cook potatoes in large pot of salted water, bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork tender. About 20 minutes. Drain well. In a large bowl, add potatoes and mash. Add milk, butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well. Fold in parmesan and sour cream.Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Enjoy!