Parrano: Gouda Goes Italian

July 15, 2010

Parrano is a hard cow’s milk cheese made in Holland.  It is a gouda-style cheese that uses Parmesan Reggiano cheese cultures during production.  According to our cheesemonger, this is a relatively new Dutch cheese, with production beginning in the 1970’s.  Parrano is aged for 5 months and has a waxed rind.

Parrano

Parrano is the color of cheese pizza, with bland interior shades and a sharply contrasting red rind.  Parrano’s interior is light yellow-orange, darkening to orange-brown near its rind.  The waxed rind is labeled.

To the touch, Parrano is solid and firm.  Its surface is smooth with small intermittent holes.

Parrano is like a distant cousin of Parmesan Reggiano: it has the aroma and nutty flavors of Parmesan Reggiano, but is closer in texture and mouth feel to Gouda.  Parrano is milder than Parmesan Reggiano, not as salty or nutty and it lacks a long after-taste.  Its texture is flaky like Gouda and has that cheese’s creamier mouth feel.

Parrano is a modest diversion from the traditional Aged Goudas of Holland.  Our tasters were mixed on this cheese; those that already enjoyed Parmesan Reggiano liked this cheese, while others thought it too tangy and reminiscent of Aged Gouda. Parrano is a cheese somewhere in between Aged Gouda and Parmesan Reggiano, so comparisons to those two mother cheeses were inevitable.  This is a nice hard cheese for a picnic or as an everyday snacking cheese, but it’s not compelling enough to put on a party plate.

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