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Milking is of vital importance in preserving those characteristics of the milk that make Parmigiano-Reggiano so deliciously natural. The milking operations are conducted in such a way that the milk can be transferred straight from the udder to the processing tank without ever coming into contact with the outside environment. The rhythm of the milking is closely connected with the timing of the Parmigiano-Reggiano's production: time is an essential element in the whole process. Every kilo of Parmigiano-Reggiano is made from about 16 litres of fresh raw milk, free from any kind of additives or preservatives. This means that the cheese acquires all the nutritional properties and the flavours contained in the milk.