We had the great pleasure of touring “Istituto Professionale per L’Agricoltura”, a school of agriculture that produces Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh Ricotta and grows a beautiful array of fruits and vegetables. The cheese is a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) product, which means that its distinctive features and its link with the area of origin are guaranteed by a system of EU rules designed to protect both consumers and producers. Production is carried out according to the product specification of the PDO, and it’s certified by the independent body “Dipartimento Controllo Qualità”. The trademark Parmigiano Reggiano can only be put on a cheese: produced and processed in the place of origin produced according to strict rules, which require precise production methods, the three main methods are as follows:
- Production Standard: controlled feeding of the cows
- Feeding Regulation: and qualitative selection and marking
- Marking Regulation: Milk and cheese production takes place in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the west of the Reno River and Mantua to the east of the Po River.
The quality is dependent on the place of origin, the natural feed and the high quality milk with no additives. During the long aging process, natural fermenting agents in the milk give the cheese its particular flavor and texture, in other words, its typicality. The fresh ricotta is then produced from the remaining whey.