The land of Modena is the land of the good food as Parmesan Cheese. The origin of this cheese dates back to the Middle Ages, to the XII Century. The Parmesan Cheese was born near Castles and Monasteries where first “caselli” were built:  small buildings where the milk was produced and worked. Thanks to the field of this area, rich in water, and to the salt pans of Salsomaggiore (the salt is necessary for the cheese transformation), the production of Parmesan Cheese quickly spread to the Po river area, in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, but also Bologna and Mantova. 

During the guided tour, you will learn about every single phase of the Parmesan production, from the milk delivery to the finished wheel, following the warehouse with all the wheels, the cutting room and the shop, where you can taste all the different aged cheese. For protecting this specialty, the Consortium of the Parmesan Cheese goes to every single diary to control every single wheel: with an hammer, tapping it on the wheel, the controller understands if the cheese is good or not. If it’s good, the wheel receives a fire mark on the crust. But this is not the only important mark on the cheese. Signs are: the written “Parmigiano Reggiano”, the matriculation number of the diary, the month and the year of production, and the written DOP, which means “Protected Designation of Origin”. This last mark guarantees that it is original and not an imitation!!

“The Black Gold”

The Balsamic Vinegar is one of the most important specialty of this Region, especially of Modena. The first time that the adjective “balsamic” came out was during the 1747, to distinguish a particular type of vinegar from the others present at the court of the Ducale Palace of Modena. This product, during the ‘800, has attracted more and more interest, not only in markets and commercial changes, but also on historical researches. At the end of this century, the Balsamic Vinegar started to be interested also on international markets.

During the visit, the guide will explain you all the secrets of the process, visiting the collection of the wood casks, and in this way you will understand why this product is also called  “The Black Gold”. You are used to use the common ” Balsamic Vinegar of Modena” which needs minimum 2 months of aging. This is the product you can find also in the supermarket and buy for few euros. But the most prestigious is the “Traditional Balsamic Vinegar” which must have the sign DOP (Protected Designation of Origin), must be tried by the commission of the expert tasters, must be bottled in specific bottle and must be aged for minimum 12 years. A professional tasting will end this delicious visit.