Attention, if you are addicted to cheese, the following information may be shocking. Better to skip this article right away if you have a sensitive heart but love that typically Italian taste, because Parmesan cheese owes its flavor to a very special manufacturing secret…
Many vegans see cheese as the food that keeps them from becoming a vegetarian. However, there is a bitter irony to this situation: Some types of cheese, like Parmesan, aren’t even technically vegan.
This funny staple of Parmesan cheese
Parmesan cheese, a cheese beloved for its grainy texture and rich taste, owes its creation to an enzyme found in the stomachs of calves. It is this enzyme in rennet that gives cheese its texture and prevents acidification. Rennet is a mixture ofenzymes It is found in the fourth stomach of small ruminants. Contains chymosin, an enzyme that coagulates breast milk to facilitate digestion in youngsters.
In cheese making, the extracted rennet causes liquid milk to coagulate, resulting in the desired consistency of the final product. For cheeses made from cow’s milk, such as Parmesan, rennet from calves’ stomachs is used. to Goat cheese And ewes we use for children or lambs.
Rennet extraction inevitably leads to the death of the animal, usually within the first two to ten days of its life. Although it is not specifically killed for rennet, it is taken from young animals slaughtered for their meat.
Disturbing revelations and available alternatives
The discovery of this fact caused a shock among vegans and cheese lovers. Most cheese packages do not explicitly refer to the use of animal rennet, simply referring to it as “enzymes”, leaving many consumers uncertain as to the source of these enzymes.
However, there are alternatives. Vegetable rennet, which is derived from plants, microorganism cultures, or even genetically modified rennet, is used to produce certain types of cheese. Unfortunately, allowing cheese to bear the label “Parmesan” or “Parmigiano-ReggianoIt must come from an approved region and follow the traditional recipe, which includes the use of animal rennet… So, for true Parmesan lovers, it will be necessary to steer clear of a 100% vegan diet.