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Parmesan cheese is the name of a few kinds of Italian extra-hard cheeses made of cow's milk. It is usually the cheese to go with Spaghetti and other typical Italian pasta, but it also has many other uses. Parmesan is a part of Italian national cuisine and is usually grated. It is hard, sharp and dry.
Only these brands (Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano) are protected. In many parts of the world, cheese is sold as Parmesan cheese that has nothing to do with the true (Italian) Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano. The biggest producers of such cheeses are the United States and Argentina.[source?]
The original Parmesan cheese is one of the most expensive cheeses in the world.
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