Parmigiano-Reggiano: the birth of a myth


Parmigiano Reggiano has always been an expression of its land of origin and of Italy worldwide until its very origins, which are old and noble and date back to the Middle Ages. In particular, monks were the first producers of Parmigiano Reggiano, driven by the quest for a cheese featuring one main characteristic: that of lasting for a long time. They achieved this result by letting the cheese mass dry and increasing the wheel size, thus enabling the cheese to keep long and thus to travel, including far away from the production area. This feature has been Parmigiano-Reggiano's fortune, resulting in it travelling around the world for centuries to become an authentic expression of what we call today the Made in Italy agribusiness. The first written evidence dates back to 1254 in a notarial deed found in the State Archives of Genoa where a the caseus parmensis, i.e. the cheese from Parma, is mentioned. The best known literary evidence dates back to 1344: Giovanni Boccaccio in the Decameron described the district of Bengodi and mentioned a mountain of "grated Parmesan" on which "Macaroni and ravioli" were rolled, which is a clear indication of the product's use in the kitchen.

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