The expert's way

Professional cheese-testers approach a Parmigiano-Reggiano with something not unlike the kind of gravity Harley Street doctors reserve for important patients.
They hold the cheese-owner in suspense until all of the above eight points have been thoroughly checked.

The cheese-tester works with

Gli attrezzi dell'esperto

  • a percussion hammer
  • a screw-needle
  • a sampling dowel


The examination of a wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano

Esame dell'esperto

With his hammer, the expert taps the cheese at various points while listening carefully to the way the crust takes the blows. This tells him what is going on inside in much the same way as a stethoscope does.

The cheese is then pierced with the screw-needle to extract a minute sample of the contents. The resistance of the cheese indicates something of its internal consistency, and the sample enables the expert to judge the aroma and degree of maturation.

The sampling dowel is resorted to only in exceptional cases, when the aforementioned methods have failed to elicit a diagnosis.