Do you know how real Parmesan cheese is made? Do you want to know? Based on the reactions of a whole lot of people on the internet, you might not want to know.
I think most of us can agree that adding a little Parmesan cheese to some spaghetti, lasagna, a meatball sandwich or some pizza is never a bad thing.
me: can you dust my wets?
server: you can just ask for parmesan for that
me, confused, lifts all of my spaghetti with my hands: please. My wets.
— zeyad fouad (@zeyadfouad12) October 31, 2020
Well, that was the case for most people until someone on Twitter tweeted, “Today years old when I found out Parmesan cheese is made from baby cow’s stomach & I could go cry. I’m just gonna have to go full vegan at this point.”
Wow I had never heard that! Dairy is scary fr
— Cloud C0WB0Y (@cloudC0WB0Y) January 10, 2023
I did not know. This makes me very sad . I like Parmesan but don’t think I can ever eat it again.
— MoonbeamValencia (@ValValCZ) January 10, 2023
Ok I did not know this! won't be having that again ever.
— Sean.da.Fella🇺🇦✌️🏴❤️🇺🇸 (@gor45079956) January 10, 2023
That’s right. Parmigiano Reggiano, AKA real Parmesan cheese, is made from unpasteurized cows’ milk, then whey and calf rennet is added, then after a little more finessing, including being put into a brine bath to absorb salt for 20 to 25 days, is aged for at least 12 months
Wait… back up… what exactly is calf rennet?
Well, rennet is a set of enzymes produced in the stomachs of mammals like cows, goats, sheep, giraffes, deer and buffaloes. Those enzymes are produced to help the young mammals to digest their mother’s milk.
So, yeah… if you love Parmesan cheese, and who doesn’t – it’s been called Italy’s practically perfect food – you are also, by transference, a fan of killing baby cows.
Same goes if you enjoy Manchego, Gruyere, Gorgonzola, and Camembert cheeses too.
On the plus side, cheeses like Cheddar, Feta, Mozzarella, and Wensleydale do not contain rennet.
Also, unless your Parmesan cheese is labeled Parmigiano Reggiano, there is a chance that it was made using genetically-engineered yeast and bacteria rather than rennet so it is still vegetarian. You just have to check the label on the package to be sure.