The production cycle

Natural dairies

CowsParmigiano-Reggiano is produced exclusively in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and parts of the provinces of Mantua and Bologna, on the plains, hills and mountains enclosed between the rivers Po and Reno.
This is the area hosting four thousand farms where the cattle are fed on locally grown forage.

 

From milk to cheese

From milk to cheeseEvery day, the milk from the evening milking is left to rest until morning in large vats, where the fatty part spontaneously rises to the surface.
As soon as the whole milk form the morning milking arrives from the farm, the skimmed milk from the night before is poured into the typical bell-shaped copper cauldrons where calf rennet and fermented whey, rich in natural lactic ferments obtained from the processing of the day before, are added.
The milk coagulates in around 10 minutes, and the curd which forms is then broken down into minuscule granules using a traditional tool called spino.
The cooking process which reaches 55 degrees centigrade, after which the cheesy granules sink to the bottom of the cauldron forming a single mass.
After resting for around thirty minutes, the cheese mass is removed by the cheese maker.
Cut into two parts and wrapped in its typical cloth, the cheese is then placed in a mould which will give it its final shape.

Marks of origin

Marks of originEach cheese is given a unique, progressive number using a casein plate and this number remains with it just like an identity card.
After a few hours, a special marking band engraves the month and year of production onto the cheese, as well as its cheese dairy registration number and the unmistakable dotted inscriptions around the complete circumference of the cheese wheel.


Process of salting

SaltingAfter few days, the Parmigiano-Reggiano wheels are immersed in a water and salt-saturated solution.
It is a process of salting by absorption which, within less than a month, closes the production cycle and opens the not less fascinating cycle of maturation.