A hard, sharp, dry Italian cheese made from skim cow's milk. It is straw-colored and has rich flavor. Aged: 12-16 months. It is made all over, but the best comes from Italy's Parmigiano-Reggiano, which is often aged 2 years. (Stravecchio means it has been aged 3 years and stravecchiones, 4 years)
We have Parmigiano reggiano , that means his origin from the region of Parma and Reggio situated both in Emilia Romagna. Another type, of cheese, that seems visually to the parmigiano but his taste is a bit sweeter, is grana padano. This cheese is produced in many places of northern Italy, and padano is the term that defines the long way of Po river, Padano means "of the valley of Po river." Great battle around those two typical cheeses. In my family i vote for Reggiano, stronger, my wife for Padano, sweeter. Both are made only in those two regions, Emilia Romagna and pianura padana. In Italy, strictly and obviously.
Pregrated parmesan is available, but the flavor does not compare to freshly grated.