The Reggiano District


I sapori della Rossa produce Parmigiano Reggiano delle Vacche Rosse made from the milk of the rare Red Cows. The rich and creamy milk from these herds compliments the traditional methods of the artisanal cheese makers – with higher levels of butterfat and protein allowing an extra-long maturing process, resulting in a uniquely nutty and flavoursome cheese.

It is, however, the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese that reigns supreme in this region. The process begins with the Reggiana Cattle breed, also known as the Vacche Rosse (Red Cow). The Red Cow has made Reggio Emilia its home for nearly 1000 years, and it was 800 years ago that the Benedictine monks of the area began the earliest form of production on what was to become parmesan cheese.

We need to say thank you to Luciano Catellani at I Sapori della Rossa if today we can enjoy such a special Parmigiano-Reggiano; Luciano has been looking after the few red cows still breeding and in around 15 years he has created a population large enough to produce milk in quantity to have wheels made of 100% Red Cow's milk: this means though that the producion is yet very limited and explain why the price for this cheese is a bit higher than the standard but ... its taste is much higher!

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In northern Italy you will find Reggio Emilia, an old town in which most of its buildings date back around 500 years. This hexagonal town is entirely on a plain, crossed by the Crostolo stream. Carved into the Apennines of the region, the Bismàntova Stone in Castelnovo ne’ Monti echoes the shape of a ship within its calcareous sandstone formation; it was the writer Dante who named it in his Divine Comedy.

resizedimage600376 Picture28Historically, Reggio Emilia’s economy was based on agriculture, and from this comes perhaps its most famous export, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Other typical foods include cappelletti stuffed with meat and parmigiano cheese and herb with pumpkin tortelli, as well as turkey meat loaf, rabbit alla reggiana and roasted stuffed pork. For dessert, the specialty is rice cake and the spongata reggiana of Brescello, with dried fruits, honey and raisins.