A cured hard cow's-milk cheese that is essentially Italian. Its name originates from the town of Parma, in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. Parmigiano reggiano is a protected name for true Parmesan which manufactured from 15th April to 11th November in the province of Parma. A good substitute for Reggiano often sold abroad as "Parmesan" is a similar cheese, known as grana padano. Parmesan is always best grated or shaved fresh before use.