Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Parmigiano Reggiano in Parma, Italy

Our first day trip in Italy was spent visiting Parma. We toured a prosciutto di Parma factory [I'll spare you from the raw meat photos], the Barilla factory and--the best portion of the day--we saw parmigiano reggiano production. 

We saw the process--from the cows to the finished product. The cows fed on grass and specific hay is shipped in during the colder months, as it affects their milk and ultimately the taste of the cheese. It was crazy to me to learn that they don't add anything to the cheese; it is just made from milk. They separate the curds and whey--they make ricotta as well and don't waste anything. 

The coating on the outside is literally made from the cheese but is exposed to the outside environment and looks like a firm plastic coating. It is edible, although, I've avoided it.

This cheese [the authentic version] can get quite pricey in the United States. I was able to purchase a generous portion from their shop for 6 euros--one third of the price in New York [at Eataly]. Joe and I are still savoring our cheese and sprinkling it on our favorite dishes at home!

If you are visiting Italy in the near future, bring home some cheese. You won't regret it!

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