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Parmigiano Reggiano: The King of Cheeses – I

Igino Morini: “I’m a member of the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium. Parmigiano Reggiano is a PDO product which means that the cheese is produced in a specific territory. The connection between the territory and the cheese is given by the milk and what the cows eat.

According to the Consortium’s regulations, most of the forage has to come from the farms and their surrounding territory, more precisely the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna east of the river Reno and Mantua west of the river Po. Enclosed in this territory are 3.500 farms that produce milk, which will be processed in 380 cheese factories and transformed into 3.300.000 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano every year.

Once Parmigiano Reggiano has matured, it is inspected, branded and protected all over the world as part of our heritage, not only as a product of this territory but Italy’s and the rest of the world”.

Alessandra  Baschieri: “I’m co-owner of the farm Baschieri & Sargenti.

In our cowshed we have 230 head of cattle, mostly heifers and calves. We keep three cattle breeds to improve the quality of the milk that we bring to the factory, mostly Holstein Friesian because of their amazing milk yield but also Brown Swiss and Pezzata Rossa for the good levels of fat and casein.

We feed the cows grass hay and alfalfa, which contains lots of good proteins and energies.

Cows should calve once a year. I personally do artificial insemination to improve the genetics of the farm.

The milk is transferred to the fridge through a pump and stored at 20°C. Then it is poured into barrels and brought to the cheese factory”.

Fabrizio Giacobazzi: “I’m the cheese maker of the Frignano Dairy Cooperative. We collect the milk twice a day, morning and evening. The milk is brought to the factory either by the dairies themselves or by the milk truck which goes farm by farm to collect it.

Once the milk gets here, it is separated into large vats, each numbered according to the dairy it belongs to.

The milk is left to rest overnight into big setting vats so that the cream will rise to the surface. The next morning, the cheese maker will begin the “spillatura”, a process that effectively separates the cream from the milk, which will be poured into numbered cauldrons”.


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