I work at Whole Foods Market and as I have been working in the Specialty department I have obviously come across many cheeses. Yes, I am a cheese lover. Despite trying and liking numerous cheeses, Parmigiano-Reggiano remains my favorite. It is classic.
It is made from raw milk, although as with almost all raw milk cheeses, it is cooked but still retains some of the original good bacteria and makes the flavor more complex. It is aged a minimum of 12 months but the good stuff is at least 18-24 months. If it is ‘stravecchio’ then it has been aged for 3 years. Also, traditionally the cows from which the milk is obtained are fed only grass or hay and therefore the grass-fed milk is high in nutrients. Also, parmigiano is lactose free so if you are lactose intolerant you may be just fine with it.
It can be pricey… anywhere from $12.99/lb (Trader Joes) to $17.99/lb (Whole Foods), but it is far worth it. Remember not to throw away the rind either… you can throw it in soups and sauces and when soft you can dice it up and eat it or leave it in there for some excellent flavor.