Cheesemaking Is Serious Business
Parmigiano Reggiano cheesemakers are now requesting microchips in their latest batches to prevent fraudulent recipes from hitting the market. The Italian cheese market consistently faces issues with counterfeit products and is ordering that businesses take precautions to fight it.
The History of Parmesan Cheese
When you purchase “parmesan” from the grocery store, there is a high likelihood it is not truly authentic. True parmesan cheese is called Parmigiano-Reggiano and is made in a small part of northern Italy. The history of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is long and can even date back to the Middle Ages. It is believed that benedictine monks created the cheese as a way to extend the shelf-life of milk and ensure that the large quantities that they were producing would not go bad. Eventually, the European Union got involved to research counterfeit cheeses being made as the product soared in popularity.
The concern for consumers is to minimize the chances of purchasing cheese not approved by the market, such as area or origin and the requirements of production for the cheese. The overarching goal is to continue to protect Parmigiano-Reggiano in Italy and minimize false products. The microchips are safe to eat, however, they will most likely not be consumed due to the hard coating on the outer part of the cheese wheel.
WATCH-Italian Cheesemakers Stop Counterfeits
- Italian cheesemakers microchip parmesan in bid to fight copycats [CBS News]
- The History of Parmesan [petandeldas]
- Cheese and chips: parmesan producers fight fakes with microtransponders [The Guardian]