Best Parma Ham Factories That You Can Visit (On your Own)

Italy has always been on the list of a lot of people’s bucket list. Aside from the architectural attractions of this place, another must try in this beautiful country is their food. Aside from pizza and pasta, what a lot of people do not know is that Italy has already perfected the art of curing ham. And one of the best places in Italy to get ham is in Parma. Parma ham is one of the best meats in the world. And a lot of ham shops in Italy offer educational tours in shops where you get to see how hams are made, from slicing it to curing and even up until ageing. So if you happen to be around the area, never miss a chance to have a tour of the best ham stores there.
Below are some of the best places to go for a tour and learn all about prosciutto.

Salumificio La Perla

Parma ham tour
Parma ham tour

Address: Localita Quinzano Sotto, 3, Parma, Italy
Opening Hours: Call ahead
Why Visit this place? :
La Perla is a family-owned business where members of the family will personally take you through the process of the tour. Here, you will be able to see how hams are prepared firsthand! And since the whole family manages it, you will surely feel the passion they have for the business. Which means that all their products are made meticulously and with deep love. Plus, the best part of the tour is knowing that this store can produce about 60,000 hams annually! After the visit, their guests will be given a hearty meal offering their best meats plus cheese and wine! And if you like to buy some food souvenirs in the area, there are small shops around the place which you can visit.

Prosciutto Bar Rosa dell’Angelo

prosciutto bar
prosciutto bar

Address: Via Per Parma 6, 43029, Traversetolo, Italy
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Why visit this place?
Prosciutto Bar is one of the unique places in the area since they have their own Biodiversity Park farm where they take their products from. They raise their pigs for the ham and cows for the cheese. And one might think that it’s typical to have pigs and cows, but what makes this place unique are their black pigs and heirloom cow species which they are trying to save.
Aside from meeting the owners personally, you will also get to see how their products are made such as their 24 months Parma ham and their black pig ham. And of course, after the tour, you get to taste their delicious food paired with the best wines!

Salumificio Conti

conti
conti

Address: Strada Fontana 2/A, 43013, Langhirano, Italy
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Why Visit this place?
Conti is another family-owned business where family members show you the process of preparing their ham. Since it is family owned, you will feel the passion and warmth that they have for what they do. Just like other tours, here, you will see the process of how they prepare the ham from slicing the meat, salting it and until ageing. What makes this place stand out is their process of ageing the meats. What people are not aware of is that meats taste different throughout time. A ham aged for 12 months would feel different than a 24 month aged meat. And after the tour, guests will have the opportunity to have a taste and compare the feelings of hams that are aged differently.

Salumeria Gardoni

gardoni
gardoni

Address: Piazza Luigi Leoni 5, 43013 Torrechiara, Langhirano, Italy
Opening Hours: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM, 3:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Why Visit this place? :
In this charcuterie store , you will get to have firsthand experience with a ham expert who is also the owner of the place. Everything you need to know about the preparation of Parma ham will be taught to you. And after learning all about ham, you get to have a lovely meal and taste the best ham this store has to offer.

These are the best prosciutto Places to Visit in Parma. If you happen to be around the area for a visit, make sure to reserve a tour around these stores so you would be able to see the beauty of preparing ham and would also get to taste the different kinds of meat!

Culatello Ham: Where To Taste And Tour in Parma

Culatello is an exclusive type of meat found in the Italian regions. With an origin dating back to the 15th century, this dish is one of the crown jewels of the Italian cuisine. The flatlands to the north of the Parma province of Italy serve as the production house for culatello. The Po River flowing nearby adds to the development and growth of the dish.

With the perfect climate for breeding and aging the meat, Zibello City is strategically placed as the production factory for culatello. The aroma and the sweetness in the meat comes from the thick fogs over River Po and the nail biting winters of Zibello, making it quite exclusive.

Culatello is basically the hind legs of pigs who are specially bred in the Emilia Romagna and the Lombardy regions of Italy. After the meat is processed, it is wrapped in twine which gives it its iconic pear shape. The meat is then wrapped as pork bladder and is stored away in a cool place. The secret of Culatello is based on the fact that it is washed in white wine before serving, putting the dish on the top of the Italian cuisine card.

Antica corte Pallavincina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Antica corte Pallavincina is a castle estate in the Polesine Parmese province of Italy. Housed on the Parma lowlands, this estate is one of the best places in Italy where you can take a quick bite of Cutello. The magnificent estate with its kitchen gardens, ancient castle cellars and the vast lands for grazing are a treat to the eyes and an experience to remember.

Apart from the kitchen gardens and the grazing farmlands, a visit to Cremona will set you adrift on memory lanes. It is a city where street dwellers will mesmerize you with their violins and melodious music, soft enough to cool your restless nerves. Musical maestro G.Verdi’s house and the parish church are some of the must visit spots if you wish to relive the olden times. There is also a museum dedicated in the honour of G.Guareschi, the famous writer of Don Camillo stories.

The highlight of the trip still remains the visit to the cellars of the ancient castle. The cellars have been in operation since 1320, where they were used to mature cheese obtained from the farm and to cure the salami produce. The dukes of Milan and the highest ranking nobles were treated to the famous salami from the cellars of Corte. The cellars also hold cookery classes as well as candle light dinners and a briefing about the local heritage.

Al Vedel (Podere-Cadassa)

Al Vedel is located in the Colorno region of the Parma farmlands. This site in the PO valley is also known as the Italian food valley and dates back to the 18th century. The farmhouse was converted into a meat processing centre and a restaurant by the Bergonzi family, so as to highlight the gastronomical culture of Parma. The area is famous for its culinary culture as is evidenced by its creativity in making traditional dishes like the Cutello.

Podere Cadassa offers a tour of this ancient gastronomy centre. There’s a restaurant, a ham storage section as well as the beautiful cottage gardens, culatello cellars, outdoor sittings, meat processing area etc. The place offers an insight about the age old traditions and the recipes of the region. They believe in always adding flair something that is already excellent.

The culatello cellars are lined from the floor to the ceilings with the twinned hams. There is also a mention of the date and the quality on each and every meat present in the cellar. The processing and the making of the fine Culatello is indeed a visual treat for anyone present there. The cellars also boast of a live tasting section of the fresh culatello mixed wand dried with the wine.

Bre del Gallo

Bre del Gallo lies on the banks of river Po in the small village of Fontanelle di Roccabianca. It is managed by the Magnani family, a family whose generations have farmed on the Parma land. Their primary duty is to safeguard the ancient flavours of the region. Today, Bre del Gallo uses modern technology and the highest standards of food tasting in its management of regional dishes.

Termed as the slow food capital of the world, this Parma territory is home to one of the finest meat processing centres as well as vast farms, Culatello cellars and even the wine tasting cellars. The processing done here is of the highest standards, using modern machinery and traditional expertise. The farmlands, cottage and the Po River are all visible from this estate. The best season to visit and experience the true beauty of the farm is the Winter season from November to January.

The Culatello cellars focus on quality using modern methods. From meat cutting to twinning, from wrapping in pork to washing with wine, every process is explained and demonstrated in detail in the cellars. The tasting of the iconic dish follows these processes, making it an on-the-go cookery master session.

La Fattoria

La fattoria di Parma lies between Parma and Fidenza on the Via Emilia. It is one of the training centres and production factories for the salami and culatello dishes. It regularly conducts educational workshops for nutrition students so as to enlighten them about the techniques of mass production for preserving the local flavours. There are also factory tours for industry professionals.

The territory includes meat processing centres, salami factories, farmlands, culatello tasting-centre, as well as culatello cellars among the other facilities. There is also a gift wrapping section where visitors can view the wrapping of processed ham into packages. From the breeding section of the pigs to the butchery, everything is well-maintained on the farm grounds. The quality of culatello at the La fattoria factory comes from their specially bred pigs of the local farms.

A visit to the culatello cellars is unlike a visit to any other farm in the Parma region. The selection of pigs, butchery and the quality marking process describe how the ham selected is made into culatello. The final dish, served with wine, is to be enjoyed in the cool weather of the farm. These cellars offer a glimpse in the art of making the culatello as one of Italy’s most sought after dishes.

Conclusion:
Some of the most iconic dishes taste best when they are prepared in their original habitat. Culatello is one such dish; a dish which can be best experienced in the Parma province of Italy, the original place of the Italian gastronomical marvel. The fact that it is prepared with the traditional techniques, the original ingredients and the ancient processes makes Culatello one of Italy’s culinary wonder dishes.

Pepèn in Parma Best Street Food in Emilia.

If you are visiting Parma forget Culatello and Parma ham for a moment, you have to try this place at least once. Pepèn is a panini place in Parma that has been very popular with the locals for the last 50 years. The small shop can have huge crowds waiting for their meal consisting mainly of sandwiches. Everything seemed very nice and tasty so the choice can be hard to make. We tried the tasty “Carciofa” a savory tart with ricotta cheese, parmesan and artichokes, also the famous panino Spacca Balle (ball breaker) with roast beef and also the Panino con cavallo crudo, a very tasty sandwich with horse tartare, of course only for those foodies who are a bit adventurous. One of the best street food that we have tried in Italy at very convenient prices, expect to pay 5 euros per sandwich with a menu that changes depending on the day of the week, also serve wines and beers. Opens for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. It is very central at Borgo S.Ambrogio 2, 43100 Parma, Italy. Here you will find their official Facebook page.

pepen italy
Raw horse meat panini in Parma

Foodies’ Stay in Parma at Cheese Producing Farm

Cheese is certainly an acquired taste. If you, however, love cheese and especially parmesan, there’s nothing like a visit to Parma’s regionally renowned cheese producing farm. This popular venue is a haven for cheese lovers and enthusiasts alike. Whether for family vacations or foodies’ gatherings, this fully functional farm in Parma is simply unique at every turn. With lavish and elegant B&B accommodations to a fully course breakfast, the agriturismo truly captures the allure and essence of agrarian Italy. As part of your package, you and your loved ones will see the magic behind Parmesan production. There is also a Balsamic vinegar tasting tour, along with a gourmet lunch and cured meat tasting courtesy of Parma’s top ham producer.

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Parmesan tasting In Italy
Parmesan tour

The Tour

With the help of the owner who will do a  guided tour, foodies will simply love visiting the local dairy and cheese producing farm. Upon arrival, guests will meet the farm producer for itinerary and map details. As a fully operational farm, the location in Parma continues to soar in regional popularity. In fact, the farms are a great alternative to pricey and over priced hotels. Whether travelling for business or pleasure, your 2 night tour is guaranteed to be entertaining and educational. From tantalizing tasting tours to mouth watering farmer style breakfasts, what better way to enjoy Mother Nature than at Parma’s top dairy farm? If you love cheese and parmesan, this trip will truly meet your needs within time and budget.

The Parma Farm

The Parma Farm stays and visits are organised by Emiliza Delizia.  As one of the most visited countries in the world, Italy has so many foodie’s things to see, do and eat. Whether you love fine wines, or culture and history, Parma simply has it all. With simplicity at its finest, now is the perfect time to visit this great venue and spend countless hours of fun. You can also contact the farm for any questions or inquiries in regards to tasting tours and accomodations.

Cooking classes in Parma.

For those interested in learn how to cook dishes from the parma cuisine it is also possible to organise cookery classes in the region.

bnb in Parma
Parmesan producing farm with accommodation
where to stay in Parma
Farm Stay in Parma

 

Best Restaurants in Parma

When you plan your holidays in Italy we bet that you soon start thinking about delicious dishes to taste. If you then book a tour in Emilia Romagna, those obsessive images of tempting tortelli, Parma ham and chestnut desserts won’t leave you until you go and savor them!

Once arrived in the land of authentic Parmesan flavors, don’t stroll too much to find the perfect place. If you want to have a great meal, just let be guided by our accurate proposals. Emilia Delizia suggests two of finest places to dine in Parma with excellent dishes of the regional tradition, incredible desserts and superb wines: Parizzi and La Greppia.

spalla cotta & torta fritta
spalla cotta & torta fritta – source

Parizzi****

The outside of the restaurant is classy as much as the interior. Minimalist style and modern concept are the key features of the setting, as you will soon notice entering the door. A mix of tradition and innovation, you would say, reading their sophisticated menu.

At Parizzi you will be served anolini and tortelli d’erbetta (with fresh herbs) or filled with pumpkin (the famous tortelli di zucca) – stracotto (beef), and a mouthwatering “tutto castagne” dessert.
The modern side of the menu features Porcini and Fontina lovely arranged in a crunchy cone, risotto with snails and cress, pork barely smoked. For other culinary advice refer to Marco Parizzi, while for wine tasting ask to wife and sommelier Cristina who will gather some excellent bottles from their cellar. And of course you can ask for the tasteful PDO Parmesan cheese, Culatello and Parma ham.

The elegant atmosphere pervades the suites – perfect for a peaceful rest after a stroll in the city center of Parma – and the school kitchen – hosting exciting cooking lessons for those who wish to bring a little of Italian style in their own kitchen.

Parizzi restaurant is located in Strada Repubblica 71, in the multicolored facade houses street, where the bell tower of the remarkable San Sepolcro church stands out.

La Greppia****

A mix of modernity and regional flavors is what you will remember of this women-only run restaurant. Conscious of the strong culinary tradition, chef Paola Cavazzini is well determined to reinvent a menu with signature dishes.

Seasonal food seems to be the secret for antipasti, primi and secondi marked by a strong savor: artichokes covered with a soft ham sauce, handmade pasta stuffed with pumpkin or chestnuts, rice Venere enriched with black truffles, salted codfish with tomatoes and potatoes, veal savored with ginger. Finally, the top desserts pumpkin pudding and kaki ice cream are a must!

At La Greppia, you will dine in a cozy atmosphere, under soft lights and wooden roof. You will happily notice wooden shelves and tables where fine wines and baskets of handmade pasta are exposed, perfectly arranged tables with elegant tablecloths, impeccable cleanliness and service.

La Greppia restaurant is located in Via Garibaldi 39. You can reach the restaurant after a visit to the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Steccata and Teatro Regio, two of the greatest tourist attractions in Parma.

 

 

Novemberpork Festival in Parma

The worst place on earth if you are a pig…

In the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, the humble pig is so revered that an entire month of festivals is dedicated to the gastronomic delights of pork. It is quite understandable! The pig provides the raw product for one of Italy’s most sought-after exports, Parma Ham, but the story of the pig does not end with Parma Ham, and at this month-long festival you will find out how many other great pork delicacies are produced in the region. There are also demonstrations of how the carcass is divided up and how all the various cuts are processed – this event is not for vegetarians, who should perhaps give this festival a miss and rather visit one of the many other attractions of the region!

novemberpork
The symbol of Novemberpork – Zibello province of Parma

The November Pork festival, takes place each weekend for the month of November, and each stage is hosted by a different village along the Street of Culatello, (or the Pork Road), starting in Sissa, with “The Flavours of Pork” event. At each stage, the village butchers compete to produce the biggest, longest or heaviest product, which is why the competition is said to be the “greediest” of all food festivals in Italy.

Sissa – The annual “November Pork” fair starts in Sissa on the first weekend of November. On the Friday night there are live concerts and festivities and on the Saturday visitors are tempted by a market of typical products of the area, which include not only pork but also many organic products, fish, teas, spices and spirits. The music and entertainment continues late into the night. Sunday is the day everyone is waiting for – there are demonstrations of cheese making and the making of salamis and other pork products, before everyone gets to taste the giant Mariolone (a type of cooked salami) that the local butchers have been making all weekend.

Polesine Parmense – on the second weekend of the month the festival moves down the road to the village of Polesine Parmense, where it takes much the same form as the previous weekend, with music, dozens of market stalls and this time the star of the show is the Prete(Priest – this is made from the cured meat of the pork shoulder and knuckle, all rolled up in strips of pork rind into a triangular shape, reminiscent of a Priest’s hat) Usually it is a modest sized salami, but for this festival the butchers make the biggest one they can! It is baked and distributed(for free!) to everyone on the banks of the River Po. Of course, it is all washed down with a great local Fortana wine.

Zibello – is the village where the festivities take place on the third weekend, and this time the starring product is the Salame Strolghino; this is a “thin” salami, very delicate in flavour, traditionally made from the trimming of the large pear-shaped Culatello salami, which is locally known as the King of Salumi”. At November Pork, the local butchers of Zibello try to make the longest ever Strolghino to feed the many visitors. And I mean long…sometimes it can be up to several hundred metres!

Roccabianca – is the last village to host the November Pork competition and there are all sorts of extra events to mark the end of the celebrations. These include the “Pork Hot Feet” race, a Christmas Market and, of course, the tasting of the giant Cicciolata (this type of salami is more like a meat-loaf; it is made with some of the best pork cuts, generously flavoured with spices and then set in a loaf-shape, and served with hot polenta).

Each weekend, in addition to all the market stalls where you can buy local products, you can also visit regional restaurants, many of which feature special menus to showcase pork dishes from the region. Also in November, there is a black truffle festival in Parma, a Cheese Fair in Talamello(Rimini), and an olive oil festival in Ravenna, making November one of the very best times of the year to visit Emilia Romagna.

culatello
Culatello hams produced in Zibello – 30 km from Parma

 

The 2013 Verdi Festival in Parma

Everybody knows that Parma is the home of some of Italy’s most famous exports, namely Proscuitto di Parma (Parma Ham), Parmesano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese), Balsamic Vinegar and, of course, Ferrari and Maserati!  But did you know that one of the greatest composers of all time also hails from the province of Parma?  Giuseppe Verdi was born there in October 1813, and every year the region celebrates the life of one of their favourite sons!  The Verdi Festival takes place every year in and around Parma and people come from near and far to listen to his operas being performed in his home territory.  This year will be especially wonderful as 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of his birth, and no effort has been spared to make this anniversary a very special showcase for his work.

Milano e Verdi
Verdi Festival is in Parma every year in October – source of picture.

 

Giuspeppe Verdi and Parma province.

Giuseppe Verdi was born in Le Roncole and later lived in near-by Busetto in the province of Parma.  It is in Busetto that Verdi’s musical talent was first nurtured by Ferdinando Provesi, of the local Philharmonic.  After some time spent in Milan learning all he could about music, the prodigy returned to the province of his childhood and became the town’s music teacher.  His twenties were marred by great hardship when he lost both his children and his wife, but the Maestro went on to overcome his grief and his best works were composed in the years that followed his tragic loss.

 

The  Giuspeppe Verdi Festival in Parma

The 2013 bi-centennial Verdi festival is a must for all opera lovers, and many special tours and opera packages have been arranged to bring music lovers to Parma.  There will be an opera or concert every day at the historic Teatro Regio di Parma (which is also the final resting place of Nicolo Paganini, one of the most renowned violinists in the world) and at the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Busseto.  Many other side events will take place all over the countryside.

 

Attending a Verdi Opera or concert at the fabulous Teatro Regio in Parma is an experience you will not easily forget;  the beautiful neoclassic style of the theatre makes this an exceptional venue to enjoy the music, and you will be moved by the enthusiasm of the local opera patrons who are very knowledgable about Verdi’s music and respond most enthusiastically.

Operas are usually performed in their original language, and if you do not speak Italian, your experience will be enhanced by reading the libretti – an English synopsis of the story of the Opera – before you arrive for the concert. ( Libretti usually accompany your tickets). Oh yes, do dress smartly for the Opera – on opening nights formal attire is the norm, and for the other performances at least a tie and/or jacket would be acceptable.

 

The 2013 festival runs from the 30th September to the 31st of October and you can browse all the performance dates and book online at:

http://www.teatroregioparma.org/verdifest/

The Castles and Food of Piacenza – Bardi Arquato, Bobbio, and Coppa.

Emilia Delizia would be delighted to organise a castle, food and wine tour for your group departing from Piacenza, Parma and Milan. For more  information about the castles of the Piacenza/Parma area, please check our article below.

 Piacenza and Parma’s Castles, a unique experience in Emilia Romagna.

Planning a holiday in Italy is always a delight with such a lot to look forward to! The Emilia Romagna region in North-Eastern Italy is home to the town of Parma, and we all know that Parma is the birthplace of some of Italy’s favourite exports, Parmesano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese) and Proscuitto di Parma (Parma Ham), but did you know that the province, (or duchy), of Parma and Piacenza is also home to more than 20 castles? Castles and fortresses are symbolic of the region; they are a constant reminder of the hundreds of years the region has been under siege by successive waves of marauding invaders intent upon destruction and mayhem; they are magical places to visit for adults and children alike and you should not miss the opportunity to include a few in your itinerary.

This area is acknowledged to be the best place to view some wonderful examples of the best-preserved castles in all of Italy, and they are relatively close together, making exploring easy. I will tell you a little about 3 of the castles:

Castello di Bardi. The fortress of Bardi is an excellent example of Military architecture and has stood for more than one thousand years. It was built for defence, but later (16th century) partially converted to an aristocratic residence. There is plenty to see, including the ancient patrol paths, the parade ground, the fortified towers and all you would expect to find in a structure dedicated to defence. The view from the towers is worth the climb, and you can also visit a Museum dedicated to the story of the ancient Valley-Dwelling Civilisation. The Castle is open from March to Nov and entrance is around €5.50 per adult.

Castello di Arquato is found in the little medieval town with the same name (Castell’Arquato) in the province of Piacenza. The Castle was built from 1342-1349, and was a strategic structure, designed for the defence of the area. The rectangular courtyard enclosure is dominated by the Tower (keep) composed of a series of small rooms built one on top of the other, and linked by a series of staircases leading to the very top. Once again, your climbing efforts will be rewarded by the views of the surrounding countryside. You can visit the castle all year round for €3.50 (If you plan to visit several castles, you can buy a discount ticket for €2.00 at the castle that will save you money at all the other castles in the region.)

Make sure to visit the Multimedia Museum of Medieval Life, then explore the pretty little town than spills down the hill and visit the 12th century church of Santa Maria to see some sculptures and frescoes dating from the 12th and 15th centuries.

Castello di Bobbio. Bobbio is a small town near Piacenza, mainly famous for its Abbey and its Christmas Eve Snail Festival! The castle, properly known as Malaspina Dal Verme Castle now lies within the city walls of the town. It was begun in 1304 on the hill overlooking the town and although it is no longer intact, it is still worth a visit. You will find ruins of the Bishops Tower, and another circular tower built on two levels; you can still see the ancient arrow slits on the battlements, now converted to windows. The interior has undergone several modifications but the original large barrel-vaulted main hall is still intact, as are some very old frescoes in the stairwell. The Castle is open all year round and it costs €2.00 to visit. The little town of Bobbio is a lovely place to spend a few hours and you should try to visit the Abbey while you are there.

Bobbio - ponte gobbo 2
Ponte Gobbo – Bobbio Emilia Romagna – source

Food and wine in the Piacenza province.

When all the sightseeing has made you hungry and thirsty, you will be delighted to find yourself in Emilia Romagna, the culinary capital of the country where good food and wine are the order of the day! You are certain to have tasted Parma Ham and Parmesan cheese, but here in Piacenza there are other specialities to try, namely the Coppa Piacentina, Salame Piacentino and Pancetta Piacentina; all of these are wonderful examples of cured meat from the region and have been awarded PDO status (Protected Designation of Origin).

coppa
Coppa – wikipedia

Your meat platter is beautifully accompanied by a glass or two of Gutturnio wine from the hills of Piacenza; this mellow blend of red Barbera and Croatina grapes has recently been awarded DOC status – do not miss it! Salute!

 

Parma: three festivals you should not miss

Parma is a beautiful city in Northern Italy. It is located in the region of Emilia Romagna, where you can also find other interesting towns as Bologna, Ferrara, Rimini or Piacenza. The cathedral, the theater Regio or the theater Farnese are very well known. But it is the gastronomy that has turned the world’s eyes to Parma. Do not miss the following events to discover it.

 Festival del prosciutto, ham festival

Picture of Parma hams in Langhirano
Parma hams in Langhirano Italy

Parma is the town where a delicious cured ham is produced. Made from pig’s ham the whole process can take one year and often even longer. If you want to know more on the production you can visit Parma during the Ham Festival held in middle September. Ham factories are open to public letting people see how they salt and cure the meat. But for those who prefer tasting the product there are many opportunities to do it during these days. Ham is often served as an antipasto with grissini. It can also be used with pasta or pizza as most of the visitors are often used to. If you do not have the time to stop and eat, then a sandwich with ham, a panino, will be your possibility to enjoy the product.

An important point during the festival is the Parma Ham and Deli Meats Museum in the Cattle Market. Other events organized in this period are special menus in restaurants, music and activities for children.

 Cibus

During the month of May since 1985 it is held Cibus, an international food exhibition that attracts a large number of professionals from all over the world. It is a real window for the Italian agri-food sector trying to show the Made in Italy way to the rest of the world. More than sixty thousand visitors from seventy countries and ten thousand products presented are the key numbers. The event is addressed to restaurants, retailers, dieticians, bakers and catering companies. Food processing and machinery are exhibited at la Fiera di Parma where the event is located. The location has been chosen due to its proximity to the Italian Center for Agri-food Research. Next appointment is expected for May 2014.

 Verdi festival, a tribute to the maestro

Roncole di Busseto, in the province of Parma is the native village of the great operas Romantic composer Giuseppe Verdi and celebrations of the most famous citizen are held at the beginning of the Autumn. For twenty eight days one of his masterpieces is daily offered at Theater Regio. Otello, The Battle of Legnano, Rigoletto and many other operas are performed by young and great artists. But side events are also amazing and visitors enjoy them greatly. Do not miss Il gioco dell’Opera, an introduction to opera for children, or Premio Zanfi, an international contest for new performers. Concerts and other events are also held under the arcades of the Portici del Grano.

Milano e Verdi

Music and gastronomy are the main activities in Parma, a modern city with an exciting past full of history and culture. Exquisite hotels, tours in the Old Town and unforgettable meals with parmigiano cheese and Italian wine wait for the visitors of the Ham Festival, Cibus and the Verdi Festival.

Parmigiano Reggiano Factory Tour

Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) guided visit to a cheese day.

 

Emilia Delizia offers detailed Parmigiano Reggiano cheese tours in Modena, Parma and Reggio Emilia. Our tour will begin early in the morning in order to catch as much as possible. Below we tried to reproduce our tour in pictures to give a better idea to people about what they will see when at the Parmesan dairy.

Milk for parmesan cheese
1000 kg of milk for the parmigiano reggiano cheese production

At the arrival at the dairy we we will see the raw milk sitting in the vats. These large containers “cauldrons” contains 1000 kg of full fat and half milk mixed together. The compound is then acidified and the rennet is added. At this point the milk will turn into a yoghurt like substance.

cheese just made
2 wheels of parmesan cheese

These are the 2 twins, one is a boy and the other is a girl. Basically these are the curds of the cheese that have  been cut and left to rest. From 1000 kilos of milk we obtain 2 45 kilos wheels. Some of the weight is lost during the ageing, and therefore the final product weights approximately 37 kg.

Parmesan cheese just made
The cheese will spend a day in the Teflon mould

The unformed cheese goes into the Teflon mould for one day and one night. The cheese master carefully add a weight on top of the cheese. In order to squeeze our all the liquid the moulds are then turned every couple of hours. In the evening the cheese cloth is removed and the matrix carrying the naming Parmigiano Reggiano is inserted in the mould. Telon is a new material that has replaced the hand made wooden moulds that were originally crafted by hand.   In the video you can clearly see how the cheese is moved from the vat to the moulds. Our guests will be able to see the full production just meters away form the cheese being made.

metal moulds for the cheese
the parmesan cheese is the metal mould

The cheese goes into the metal mould for another day. These moulds have the shape of the wheel which will not required further manipulation such as the trimming of the edges.  The cheese always rest on wooden shelves which allow breathing and the correct ageing.

cheese guided tour
Guided tour to a Parmesan cheese dairy

The wheels then go to a brine bath and stay here for 3 weeks. This is an important step to make hard cheese in fact the high salinity of the water will allow residual moisture to exit thanks to natural osmosis. It is important to keep in mind that Parmesan cheese does not contain any preservative or anti fermentative, therefore it is essential to have the right amount of moisture in the wheels.

ageing Parmesan cheese
visit to the Parmigiano Reggiano maturation cellars

The last part of the visit will be spend in the ageing cellars. Here is the Parmigiano Reggiano is stocked on the traditional shelves for a minima of 12 months. During the visit we will learn how to recognise the real Parmesan cheese from imitation and we will discover the nutritional values of the product.