Di Cagno R
MetadataShow full item record
Most of the extra-hard varieties are produced in Italy. Some of them, such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, and Pecorino Romano, rank among the most famous international cheeses and have maintained traditional features over time despite great changes in cheesemaking technology. Swiss, Spanish, Russian, Balkan, and non-European extra-hard cheese varieties are also well known. Most of the European extra-hard varieties are produced under Protected Designation of Origin. The use of raw milk and natural thermophilic starters, cooking of the curd to a high temperature, long ripening, a very low moisture content, and, generally, ancient traditions are features common to most of the extra-hard cheeses. This chapter describes some example of main hard Italian, Swiss, and Spanish cheeses. Focusing on ripening in terms of changes in microbiota, primary biochemical processes (lactose metabolism, proteolysis, lipolysis, and synthesis of volatile compounds) are considered.