Parmigiano Reggiano Vacche Rosse
Up until the post WWII era, the Reggiana was the main breed of cow in the province of Reggio Emilia. A beautiful beast, this unique cow has a striking red coat. During recent times, these red cows were replaced by more typical, and more productive, black and white cows. Sadly, by the late 1980's, only a few red cows remained. However, during the last few years, the breed has been reinvigorated and is now being used for the production of small quantities of special Parmigiano Reggiano. Fanticini produces small quantities of “Vacche Rosse” in their family dairy in Villa Sabbione (near Reggio Emilia), using milk from the Raggio Cigarini Farm. This "Red Cow" variety tastes like the Parmigiano Reggiano of yesteryear. The milk of the red cows is characterized by a higher butterfat content and contains more proteins. This combination allows for the production of a cheese that is better suited for a longer period of aging, requiring a minimum of 30 months. Compared to the 24 month aging period of most other Parmigiano Reggianos, that is quite a difference. Its unique nutty, fruity, grassy flavor is richer than most Reggianos and its texture is somehow more creamy, even though it is aged for a much longer time. Reserve it for the most special dishes, or eat it like the Italians do - chunked and drizzled with thick, expensive Balsamico.