Parmesan the English name of a hard Italian cheese which is properly called Parmigiano Reggiano, or just Parmigiano. It received DOP status in 1996. The cities of Parma and Reggio Emilia used to have their own separate cheeses, but these were combined into the present joint name by a governmental decree of 1955 which established and defined the controlled appellations for grana cheeses. The Consorzio itself was founded in 1934. The characteristics and manufacture of the group of cheeses to which it belongs are described under grana. Although the appellation Parmigiano Reggiano is protected in Italy, the name Parmesan has become almost synonymous in other parts of the world with the whole grana group, meaning ‘Italian grating cheese’.