According To Ruth Reichl, This Is The Richest And Most Delicious Cheese

Outside of Italy, most people have grown to love heaps of a shaved cheese called parmesan. According to Epicurious, however, parmesan is a loosely termed cheese that can be made from all sorts of liquid or powdered milk with an ambiguous process that is nothing close to the real deal produced in Italy. You may think that the terms parmesan and Parmigiano-Reggiano can be used interchangeably, but that's far from the truth.

In reality, much like champagne, cheesemakers must follow a strict process if they want to label cheese as Parmigiano-Reggiano. The cheese has a Protected Designation of Origin status, which means the production process is heavily monitored. If it isn't followed to the tee, the cheese cannot be labeled with the prized name. It's no surprise, then, that the real stuff is highly sought-after and considered to be amongst the best cheeses in the world.

When it comes to a food critic as acclaimed as Ruth Reichl — the ex-Editor in Chief of Gourmet Magazine and a former New York Times food critic (via her official website) — even just Parmigiano-Reggiano doesn't cut it. Per a post shared on Instagram, Reichl says the Parmigiano made from white cows in Modena, Italy is the best: "If there is a richer more delicious cheese, I haven't had it," she writes in the caption.

What is white cow Parmigiano?

It seems that the former New York Times critic Ruth Reichl isn't alone in her insistence on the superiority of Parmigiano made from white cows of Modena. The Italian chef Massimo Bottura buys several wheels of the cheese each week from Caseificio Rosola di Zocca — a co-op that exclusively makes Parmigiano-Reggiano from Vacca Bianca, the white cows of Modena (via La Cucina Italiana). While Parmigiano-Reggiano produced in other parts of the Emilia Romagna region of Italy are usually produced from other breeds of cow, white cows are native to Modena (via Volpetti Salumeria). The milk of white cows is high in casein and protein and low in fat.

Naturally, Reichl's fans who've also had a taste of the white cow Parmigiano know exactly what the former critic is talking about (via Instagram). "The king of all cheeses," wrote chef Suvir Saran, while more comments agreed with Reichl. Even fans who are yet to try the cheese couldn't get over just how good the cheese looked in Reichl's picture. "Mama mia, the color and texture are unusual, and luscious looking," and, "No words for the feelings that photo brought forth ... perfection? Delicious? Amazing? Wow!" wrote drooling fans.