When you’re a kid, people often ask you what you want to be when you grow up. Some say doctor or teacher, or even actor, but would you say to a child who said they wanted to be a balsamic vinegar taster. Well, that child wouldn’t be crazy as it is an actual job in Italy. In fact, it is one of five of Italy’s most interesting jobs.
1. Renaissance Flag Waver
Mostly found in Florence, these individuals are required to wave these ancient flags through the city streets during all kinds of events. Any future flag waver must meet one specific requirement, the ability to wave the flag on windy days.
2. Parmesan Cheese Listener
Apparently, Parmesan cheese creators don’t just base their product’s quality on taste, it also has to sound good. The cheese listener will stick the cheese wheel with a rubber acoustic hammer and listen for any structural defects in the crystallization process. If they hear any defeats, a core sample is taken for tasting. This job actually requires extensive training and, of course, excellent hearing.
3. Olive Oil Police
Olive oil is a serious business in Italy, and they have no sympathy for anyone trying to create knock offs. These police officers are highly trained taste testers who can determine a fake just by tasting the contents. They protect those the olive oil industry’s good name by removing these sub-par creations from the streets.
4. Modena Balsamic Vinegar Taster
Now the olive oil industry may not be messing around, but balsamic vinegar creators are just as protective of their product. The only authentic balsamic vinegar that exists comes from Modena or Reggio Emilia. To maintain their reputation, Modena employs five tasters who are privy to all the production secrets. These tasters often have the final say in what products are put on the market.
5. Roman Soldier Model
Thankfully this job doesn’t require any battle training, the models are just required to smile, be friendly, and look good in their uniforms. These models can be found throughout the country at reenactments or at Roman historical sites for photo opts.