Parmigiano Reggiano from Cravero
Giorgio Cravero’s family has selected and aged Parmigiano Reggiano in Bra, Italy since 1855. Just off the main drag of the town of Bra, home to Slow Food’s biennial Cheese festival, lie the halls of Cravero, the twenty-foot high rooms that hold five thousand wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano. Cravero’s wheels rest on pine and they turn their wheels more frequently than other agers with an aim to
make a softer, less cakey texture.
Aging rooms like Cravero’s have long been a part of the cycle of making and selling Parmigiano Reggiano, much like they are for other long-aged cheeses like Comté and Gouda, cheeses whose lengthy affinage represents a real cash flow issue to farmers and cheesemakers.
The Ultimate Commodity Cheese?
The consorzio that unites Parmigiano Reggiano makers and protects their cheese’s recipe has, by almost any measure, done an amazing job. They have created the single most admired—and eaten—cheese in the world.
In doing so, however, they have removed the identity of the cheesemaker and ager and given the appearance that it's a commodity.
Cheesemongers know it's not true
People may have a sense that this is an interchangeable cheese, one wheel no better than another.
But while Parmigiano Reggiano production is controlled by a strict PDO, there’s nothing in the rules that says a maker can’t try to do better.
from San Pietro
The milk for Cravero Parmigiano Reggiano comes from Caseificio Sociale San Pietro, among the mountains of Benedello di Pavullo.
San Pietro's cheesemaker, Massimo, tends to seven wheels of cheese he makes every day. His cheese has been awarded the rare designation Prodotto di Montagna.
Just 30 of the 353 Parmigiano Reggiano cheesemakers are allowed to stamp their cheese with the coveted seal, Prodotto di Montanga. It signifies a cheese whose milk comes from mountain dairies, where the animals are fed local, high-elevation forage. The diverse mountain groundcover gives these cheeses a distinct terroir, a flavor that can’t be replicated from lowland grass.
Exclusively imported by Essex St. Cheese