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.
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.
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.
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The tour of the Parmesan Reggiano cheese dairy, Balsamic Vinegar farm, the Parma ham and lunch at the organic vineyard was thoroughly enjoyed by our family of 4. Paolo was a gracious and knowledgeable host for the day and provided us with insights to the production of the cheese and balsamic vinegar which was enhanced due to his chemistry background. We would thoroughly recommend this tour to those interested in the specialities produced in the Modena region.
We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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).
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.