Parma & Modena: Home to all things delicious
Parmigiano reggiano is really hard to make! The cows are milked twice a day, milk brought into vats, cheese curds are strained into linen cheesecloths, drip-dried, their linen “diapers” changed twice a day, bathed in salt water, heated in a sauna, and brought into a warehouse of thousands of cheeses where they are aged for years. This is all carefully regulated by a consortium, lest anyone be cheated out of the true, artisanal cheese experience.
Same goes for vinegar. I went to the Acetaia di Giorgio, a vinegary so exclusive that they don’t sell any of their 25+ aged products outside their factory. They need to help you taste the flavors and explain the process before you buy it. Since the cheapest 100 ml bottle was 45 euros, I didn’t make any purchases. But I enjoyed the free samples. And I will be bringing a box full of Parmesan scraps to India, where they don't know about cheese yet.
The actual towns of Parma and Modena were nice too :)