This trip to the foothills of the Appenin has one disadvantage: leaving town at 7.30 a.m. …..
But as soon as we get out of town, we drive through small villages, lots of farmland in between, than the one-lane road uphill, passing chestnut forests and breathtaking view-points.

culinary tour italy, food tour bologna, parma cheese factory
After one hour we get to the first milestone of the day, a Slowfood cheese-factory, producing five Parmigiano cheese a day. The small family company has their own cattle, the rare “Bianca Modenese” and they already work since 6.30 when we show up, but we are right in time to watch the Ricotta production. While the big containers with the Parmigiano-mass are still waiting in line, we go down to the salt-bath and the magazine, looking at hundreds of Parmigiano-cheeses, piled up to the ceiling – it smells fantastic in here!

From milk to Parma cheese

But my personal highlight is the moment, when they get the cheese-mass from the bottom of the container, put it into white linen, than cut it half and process it into the form – it´s like a ballet – they don´t have to talk at all, it´s  perfect team-work.
In the small shop, where they sell their products, we get some different kinds of Parmigiano and make the test:
Can you really tell the difference between a 12-, a 24- and a 36 month old cheese?