Parmesan cheese is a hard cheese that originated in Italy. In European countries, the cheese is protected. This means that only cheese made in certain regions of Italy, using specific ingredients, can be labeled and sold as parmesan cheese. For the world outside of Europe, there are many generic cheeses labeled as parmesan cheese, all have the salty, slightly granular taste and texture of the authentic kind. Parmesan cheese is a vital ingredient in Italian cuisine, and grated parmesan cheese is a popular topping for pizza, spaghetti and other Italian dishes. A standard tabletop item in pretty much any pizza shop is a parmesan cheese shaker. These shakers allow customers to easily accent the pizza’s flavor with as much, or as little, parmesan cheese as they wish.