Mary e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink that she would like to try Parmigiano-Reggiano but found the cheese department of her market confusing and wasn’t sure how she could tell she was getting the right cheese.
There are several hard cheeses on the market that are similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano in color but their flavor is very different. To make sure you are getting what you want, always look for the rind on the cheese. Parmigiano-Reggiano has its name (as well as the identification number of the dairy and production month and year) stenciled in bands of pin dots all around each wheel. Select a piece with Parmigiano-Reggiano on the rind and you have the real thing.