2 Parmesan Producers in Italy Go Kosher

Parmesan cheese is one of many signature foods Italy has to offer. Whether sprinkled over pizza or eaten as a snack, this popular cheese continues to soar in global popularity. Sadly, many within the Jewish faith are not allowed to consume this cheese due to religious and dietary restrictions. This is especially true for the Jewish community in Italy, which consists of several food connoisseurs and aficionados. While kosher parmesan cheese is available, most are simply processed and not authentic across the board. While parmesan usually refers to generic grated cheese in the West, the real cheese is produced in Northern Italy and dates back centuries. As a result, there really is no kosher Parmigiano-Reggiano available for those of the Jewish faith. This, however, is changing very soon.

fire stamp on cheese
Cheese ageing since 2006

Authentic Kosher Parmesan Parmigiano Reggiano.

For the first time ever, two local producers in Emilia Romagna have launched authentic kosher parmesan lines. This includes the famous Bertinelli cheese factory, which recently announced its plans for kosher Parmigiano-Reggiano by the end of 2015. Caseificio Colla will also have its official kosher line launch this October. The news has dazzled the culinary community, and especially Jewish food enthusiasts that have been waiting for products like these for years. Due to the small Jewish population in Italy, however, the producers will mainly be targeting Israeli and American markets. Still, the ability to have real kosher parmesan cheese has put smiles on many faces across Italy.

Kosher Parmigiano-Reggiano

In order for parmesan cheese to be deemed kosher, it must pass a number of strict protocols. This includes its milk, which must emanate from cows consuming grass or hay. Secondly the cheese must be aged for at least a year, and restricted to certain factories and provinces. This includes Modena, Bologna, Reggio Emilia, and of course, Parma. While the Azienda Agricola Fantacini firm used to produce kosher parmesan cheese, this ceased in 2010. The result was a void felt by many observant Jews that relied on kosher products for dietary reasons. With the launch of 2 new kosher lines, however, Jews within Italy can enjoy mouthwatering parmesan again without the worry of breaking religious traditions.

The Producers

The Bertinelli cheese factory dates back to the mid-1800s. As a family owned entity, they specialize in a myriad of cheeses and delicacies. Nicola Bertinelli, Owner, stated that the new kosher line is a big step for the company. The factory will ensure their kosher line meets strict guidelines, and the process of turning milk into hard cheese utilizes the right rennet. This is the main substance used for hardening, which must come from slaughtered animals based on Jewish law.

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by Janice on Emilia Delizia

We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!

by Bing Liem on Emilia Delizia
Emilia Delizia

The tour was perfect. I think Paolo would be a splendid ambassador for Italy in the EU. He knows how excellent Italian food and eating together can solve many major problems, and can stop aggressive behavior. Not the hunt for more money, but the well being of family and friends counts. Paolo shows us the products of ages of civilization and he did this like an artist. So after the tour we really love Italia more and we'll come back. We will call you Paolo, Thanks!

by Avihai on Emilia Delizia

Following two tours with your guides this week I would like to express my thanks for some wonderful experiences.
Monday we did the tour of cheese making, balsamic and Salami which was very good and the guide Paolo was very knowledgeable.
The truffle hunt tour today was absolutely amazing, the guide Stefano is pure gold and the tour was built with much thought. Our best experience so far, by far.

Looking forward to more tours and fun next time we are in Italy.

by Johnathan on Emilia Delizia
Super food and super cars

The group (and me) was VERY satisfied. We really enjoyed the Parmegiano Regiano which was interesting and we got to buy some delicate and cheap cheese, the same with the balsamico. The Ferrari driving was off course an experience for life. The Winery lunch felt very genuine and the people there was really welcoming and nice people. The genuine feeling there was however the big plus for us.
Paolo was excellent as our guide. He also felt very genuine. He did not talk just for the sake of talking, but when he had something to say he did it in a respectful and nice way. Everyone in the group really liked him.

Thank you!

by Susan on Emilia Delizia
Lovely food tour and cooking class

Hi Gabriele:

I wanted to let you know what a great day we had this past Friday on our tour with Jacamo. (Probably not spelling it right) He was very nice and explained everything to us. It sure gives you a new appreciation when you are slicing cheese. 🙂 Our tour ended with him taking us to the vineyard for a tour and lunch and there, Paolo, the owner could not have been more nicer. It was a perfect ending.

Please let Jacamo know what a great job he did and how much we really appreciated it and his knowledge

by Simone&Vasco on Emilia Delizia
Food tour in Modena

The website is well structured and we received a prompt answer to all questions. Gabriele supported us with all information we needed and the organization before the trip was excellent.
We had an air conditioned van, which was very relaxing through the whole tour. The first stop was the parmigiano production, which was very impressive and interesting. We could learn and especially see all the different steps and even taste the various aged parmigiano. The second step was the balsamic vinegar tasting. Finally the meat part was interesting in the museum but we hoped that we also could see more about the production and their work, but the tasting was delicious. In overall we had a very informative and well accommodated half day with our guide

by Kimie on Emilia Delizia
Fantastic Tour!!

It was great experience! We visited Parmesan cheese production, Balsamic vinegar farm, Ham museum and Farmer's lunch. Our guide gave us a detailed explanation, we were very satisfied. An excellent tour for a reasonable price, highly recommended.

by Shirley on Emilia Delizia
Gourmet tour

Nous sommes une famille de cinq et nous avons adoré notre expérience. Les trois endroits étaient choisis judicieusement. Notre guide était très généreuse et super gentille. Nous recommandons ce tour ( parmesan, vinaigre balsamique et jambon de parme).

by Jennifer S. on Emilia Delizia
Tour Extraordinaire!

My family felt our first trip to Italy must include a tour of a Parmesan Cheese Factory so when I stumbled on this website several months ago I had no idea what I treasure I found! From the moment I submitted a request for the tour, my experience with Emilia Delizia was first rate. Gabriele provided excellent customer service by patiently answering all my questions to guide me through the selection and reservation of our Foodie Delight Tour. Paolo, our driver, was prompt, cordial and knowledgeable about the processes we were observing and the area in general conveying loads of information with his well-developed English speaking skills. Our stop in Modena fell on a Saturday so we were quite fortunate to end up with a private tour which allowed us to have a nice, personal interaction with the people at each site. Everyone was friendly, generous with the tastings and we never felt rushed to move along to the next location. Now that we have returned to the states, my family agrees this tour was a highlight of our 10 day trip. I was really looking forward to this excursion and am glad to report it exceeded my expectations.

by Roy on Emilia Delizia
Ferrari test Drive

Unbelievable!!! Totally recommend the full hour to anyone and was more than I expected.
I also want to recognize Alex Pignone who accompanied me,He was very professional and extremely knowledgeable and made me feel like I have known Him forever and where two friends out for a cruise.
Thank You for allowing me to get one more item off my bucket list.

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