WAHT IS PARMESAN?As early as the late twelfth century a product apparently very much like the modern Parmesan was savoured, appreciated and described in documents. In succeeding epochs it acquired fame throughout the Italian peninsula and even beyond the northern Alps - Giovanni Boccaccio, 1313-75, writing in Naples, and Jean-Baptiste Molire, 1633-73, in Paris, mention it almost reverently in their writings. Production meth-ods have remained virtually unchanged for centuries - by now they must be perfect beyond need or hope of improvement.HOW IS PARMESAN MADE?Milk-producing dairy farms deliver specially selected coweuros milk to the cheese makers every morning and afternoon. This double milking allows blending fresh milk with milk that has been left to stand overnight so that the surface cream can be skimmed off. The mixture is heated in copper kettles and rennet is added to start coagulation, after which the mixture is simmered for two days. Cooled and slowly solidifying, the now-dense product is shaped into the characteristic convex-sided wheels by wooden moulds and the wheels immersed in salted water for twenty days. Thereafter the wheels are stored in dry rooms for at least a year and sometimes more.