is a hard dry white Italian cheese that stores well. It
has a particularly salty taste.
It is available
ready-grated as a powder intended for sprinkling onto food
at the table. Some people use this for convenience,
although the smell can be unpleasant. Don't use this,
unless you really have to.
Much better to grate or
shave the cheese into thin slivers immediately before use.
This will give you a moister, fresher effect, with a smell
that's more like cheese should be. It's 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.