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Making Organic Cheese in Italy

One of my favorite trips of recent years was a visit to several organic farms in Italy. One highlight was a trip to a small-batch artisanal producer of organic Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in the Reggio-Emilia region of northern Italy. The master cheesemakers there handcraft just six 80-pound “wheels” of cheese daily. Only three of those wheels go on to be stamped “stravecchio” (which means “extra-aged’) after a full 36-month aging process. The methods I observed have remained virtually unchanged in this region for 700 years.

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  • Meet the Maker
  • The Process Begins
  • Cheesemaking Couple
  • Pulling Up the Curd
  • Tying it Off
  • Draining
  • Forming the Wheel
  • The Cheese Rests
  • Ready for Curing
  • Three Years to Go
  • Reading a Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Weighing and Cutting
  • Tapping for Quality
  • Ready for Packing
  • Hand-Packing
  • Dr. Weil and the Lucini Team
  • The Finished Product