PDO area of Production of Parmesan Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Where this famous Italian cheese is made.

by Gabriele Monti November 6th, 2012

A while ago the consortium of the Parmigiano Reggiano made the map below to explain where the cheese is made, in order to educate consumers and tourists about the area of production.

Protected designations of origin.

The PDO is a food labelling standard that you find in Europe to protect food that has to be made only in certain areas. This is the case of Parmesan cheese, which is required to be made from the milk coming from the production area. The organoleptic characteristics of the raw materials will be transferred in the final product. Therefore you cannot make parmigiano reggiano using milk coming from other areas, simply because the outcome will not be the same.

The discipline of cheese making.

The consortium has a discipline that imposed on each producer. The discipline is nothing else than a set of  strict rules made according our ancient tradition. In short to make the cheese you need the right raw material: high quality milk and of course the skills the knowledgeable cheese masters of Emilia.

Bologna and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Bologna produces the parmesan cheese only on  the left bank of river Reno. In total there are only 10/12 producers in this province. If you stay in Bologna and decide to take a cheese tour, it is most likely that you will have to go to Modena to see the production.

Modena.

Coming from east, Modena is where the real parmigiano production starts. The area is of a particular interest if we look at the parmesan cheese produced on the Appenini mountains which is said to have a higher quality. This is probably due to the better water and air, being away from the industrial areas. In Modena is also possible to find organic parmesan produced from heirloom cows such as the bianca Modenese.

Mantova 

Although being in Lombardy and not in Emlia Romagna, Mantua falls in the production area. in fact there are several producers of the cheese in the area south of the Po’ River. Mantova is also a producer of Grana Padano.

Reggio Emlia – The cradle of cheese making.

Bibbiano  is a small town about 20 km south of Reggio Emlia, it is the confirmed cradle of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. We have the first written accounts of the cheese of Parma dating back at least 9 centuries. Reggio Emilia is often overlooked by the tourists but is well worth a stop if you are interested in food.

Parma and the cheese of.

Parma along with Reggio Emlia shares highest production amounts of the area. Also the town already confirmed itself as world’s gourmet destination and food basket of Italy.

Visiting and touring a Parmesan cheese dairy in Emilia Romagna, Italy.

It is possible to visit the dairies however it is best to arrive at least the day before since the cheese is only made once a day and it is early in the morning. In the past we organised tours for people staying in Milan or in Florence, and thanks to the high speed trains it is now possible to arrive early in the morning for the visits. Emlia Delizia is a proud organiser of Parmesan cheese tours in Italy from Modena, Bologna and Parma.

Parmesan cheese production area.

 

 

2 gourmet food tours plus winery at Torrechiara castle in Parma

Tour of Parmesan, Parma ham and winery overlooking the beautiful Torrechiara Castle.

by Marcelo Pinto October 12th 2012

Parmesan production in details

Our best gourmet foods available in Parma are included in the tour. We will start the day with Parmesan, where our guides will go in details about the production of the famous cheese, as usual our visit will include the productions steps, the brine rooms and the ageing cellars, all with the final tasting. Participants will witness the creation of the cheese wheels from raw milk till it is turned into the aged product. This is a food cultural tour to enlighten those interested to see how cheese making happens.

Panoramic winery tour at the romantic Torrechiara Castle.

Just after the cheese production you will taken to a winery facing the marvellous Torrechiara castle (pictured below). Along the fantastic view you will have an aperivito based on 3 wines such as Malvasia (sparkling white) Lambrusco (sparkling red) and other DOC wines available from the winery. Each wine is accompanied with finger food such as reserve Parma ham rolled on bread sticks, vintage Parmesan and so on. After the tasting we will take a short walk to the Castle via the vineyard, where we will visit the castles (please note that it is closed on Mondays)

Parma ham visit with gourmet lunch.

The tour will continue with our Parma ham visit. Here we will visit a producer of the renowned ham, we will go down into details of each step of the production, we will visit the 4 pre ageing chambers, then we will move to the cellars where we will describe how the product achieve its PDO status. The visit will end with tasting of the ham plus other local cured meats such as culatello, the lunch will continue with a pasta main course and of course dessert.

Torrechiara Castle.

The castle is medieval manor overlooking the Parma valley. Dating back to the XIII century and fully restored. it was the home of the count Pier Maria Rossi. He was a valorous knight  fighting against the venetians on behalf of the Duke of Milan Filippo Maria Visconti. Later in life he build the Castle of Torrechiara from what was known as the ruins of Torrechiara, the remains of past strategic settlements.  The castle is dedicated to Bianca Pellegrini who was his lover at the time. In particular he built the Golden Bedroom for her, a beautifully decorated space.

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Parmesan cheese BANK – BBC news

Transcribed by Marcelo Pinto  June 1st, 2012

It’s a bank, but not as we know it. With all the security of any vault, except in here, it’s not money they’re guarding but cheese.

Three hundred thousand blocks of Parmesan cheese worth 120 million pounds to be exact. All part of a unique cheese for money loan program run by a bank. We help fiance the Parmesan cheese makers because their cheese takes two years before it’s ready for sale, that gives them a cash flow problem. So we take take their cheese in return for a cheap loan.

The Credem Bank takes the cheese from local producers on deposit and stores it here. It’s cleaned, turned, and tapped in a constant process of checking. Once the cheese is here in this vault both the parmesan cheese maker and the bank want to make sure it’s kept in top quality condition. Which is why this man is tapping it, he’s an expert in keeping that parmesan fresh.

A small wonder because this one block weighs 40 kilograms and is worth more than five hundred and fifty pounds. Giovanni Gualdi is 71 and has been a parmesan cheese maker all his life. But it’s a slow labor intensive process. But whilst the cheese ripens, the bills and wages still have to to be paid.

More than a hundred cheese makers have been forced out of business in the past five years. That’s why those like Giovanni rely on a cash-for-cheese agreement to be paid.

It ‘s been a difficult 5 years. The market has been very bad. Businesses here have spent money so they rely on the loans. Otherwise they would shut.

If the producer defaults on his loan, Credem Bank can simply sell the parmesan. It’s thinking about extending the idea to olive oil and parma ham. For now though it’s cheese and a bank that’s taking a mature attitude to lending. Duncan Kennedy, BBC News, Emilia-Romagna, Northern Italy.

 

Parmesan dot com Launches in the U.S.

Consorzio Del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano Launches Parmesan.Com

by Marcelo Pinto Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

The Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano today launched its new US website, Parmesan.com in New York. This website is now the most comprehensive online resource for recipes and information on Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is a protected product and is one of the DOP cheese recognised in Italy. The website was created in partnership between Good Food Creative, Inc, 2nd Nature and Digital Brand Expressions, and New Jersey. It  is designed to help Americans and the world in general understand and appreciate the history and uses of parmesan cheese better. Rather than just provide recipes, it is going to encourage users to interact and share so that they can learn more.

Parmesan cheese comes from Parma in northern Italy, and it is the original cheese that  many American associate with cheeses from Italy that are hard, and have a strong savoury flavour. Parmesan cheese is considered a delicacy, in fact, it is the privilege of the true gourmand . Parmigiano Regiano is a brand that represents status and prestige in the world of cheeses as well, and eating it is a delightful experience.

A typical Parmesan cheese is made through a unique process of heating half fat milk, adding whey and rennet. The curds are then broken  to obtain the grainy textures. Each vat has 1000 kilos of milk in it,  and they will produce 2 wheels each. The cheese is aged for minimum 12 months before being labelled Parmigiano Reggiano by an expert from the consortium. For  few centuries ago and till now, the waste  whey from the process was fed to pigs which were then slaughtered for making Parma ham.

Visitors to the launch were treated to a taste of Parmigiano Reggiano as part of a 3 course meal that was prepared by Chef Michael White of Wisconsin who discovered and fell in love with Parmesan cheese in the course of his cooking career.

Parmesan.com will provide cooking inspiration through plenty of recipes, ranging from simple salads to main dishes. Chefs and other Parmesan.com community members are free to share the recipes with visitors, as well as rate recipes from around the world. The site also allows both visitors and members to contribute newly discovered meal ideas, build a recipe box of favorite recipes, test their knowledge of Parmesan cheese and learn how Parmigiano Regianno cheese is made. To get started, register at parmesan.com you can do so and log in using your Facebook account.

Parmigiano reggiano wheels