Parmesan cheese is a hard dry white Italian cheese that stores well. It has a particularly buttery, salty taste. It is also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano.
It is available ready-grated as a powder intended for sprinkling onto food at the table.
Grating or shaving the cheese into thin slivers immediately before use will give a moister result. Parmesan is the traditional topping to many Italian dishes, including risotto, where it adds a final richness and creaminess.
With the advent of refrigeration and pre-shredded soft cheeses, mozzarella cheese can now take the place of parmesan for table usage but the taste is blander.
Parmesan cheese is used in the making of pesto.