Tradition, Innovation, and Terroir / Tradition, innovation et terroir
This book contains articles in English and French.
PART IV. TYPICAL PRODUCTS: SOME EMPIRICAL EXPERIENCES / QUATRIÈME PARTIE. PRODUITS TYPIQUES: DES EXPÉRIENCES CONCRÈTES
PART IV TYPICAL PRODUCTS: SOME EMPIRICAL EXPERIENCES QUATRIÈME PARTIE PRODUITS TYPIQUES: DES EXPÉRIENCES CONCRÈTES 403 Factors Influencing the Sensory Features of Parmigiano-Reggiano from the Renaissance to the Present Day Mario ZANNONI Dipartimento Controllo Qualità P.R., Reggio Emilia The XIIIth century is generally considered to have heralded the emergence of Parmigiano-Reggiano, “invented” by the monks of the great Cistercian and Benedictine monasteries.1 During this century the most dynamic and technically advanced structures in the field of agriculture were indeed the grancie, namely the ecclesiastical farms connected to the monasteries. It must also be recalled that, in comparison with the rest of the Emilian cities, Parma had the advantage of easy access to the salt needed for cheese production, supplied by the nearby Salsomaggiore saltmines. Making this cheese required large amounts of capital: great expanses of land were needed for pasturage and relevant investments in technical skills had to be made in order to produce enough milk to make cheese rounds. Thus, from its beginnings, the product was expensive and its trade was limited to affluent customers. Parma was, beyond any doubt, at the core of the trade devoted to this cheese. Its main features (like its great size, its limited perishability and its quality) made it a “born to travel” commodity; in as early as 1254 it could be found in the markets of Genoa, in 1351 it was traded in Bologna and in 1371 it reached Bra in Piedmont. The first evidence of its export can be...
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