Saturday, May 25, 2019

Wine and Food of the Giro 2019 Stage 14

Where are we?

SAINT-VINCENT Saint-Vincent is probably one of the most famous places in Valle d’Aosta, thanks also to the “Casino de la Vallée”, one of the most renowned and largest casinos in Europe.  Gently lying on the hillside, in a welcoming valley protected from the wind, with an extraordinary microclimate, to the extent that it is known as the Alps Riviera, with mild winters and cool summers at an altitude of 575 metres.

 COURMAYEUR (Skyway Monte Bianco): Located at the foothills of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur is a gateway to Italy, offering a unique mix of alpine culture, excellent food, sports, relaxation, entertainment, shopping, and elegant lifestyle. The small alpine town is conveniently located, easy to reach all year round: it’s a few kilometers from France and Switzerland, close to the main cities of northern Italy, and strategically situated close to airports in Milan, Turin, and Geneva. A cradle of mountaineering, Courmayeur hosts the second oldest alpine guide association in the world, and is an ideal destination for all sport enthusiasts. Here, you can ski and enjoy freeriding in breathtaking scenery, ice-skate at the Courmayeur Mountain Sport Center ice-rink, even in the summer, and hike or ride a bike along the most beautiful mountain paths of Europe.

GASTRONOMY: Courmayeur has a time-honored culinary tradition that is highly respected. From fontina to the bleu d’Aoste, from chevrot du Mont Blanc to brossa and the fresh yogurt made in Courmayeur with mountain-pasture milk, the range of local delicacies is endless. Here, when dining, you’ll want to try the game, meat sauces, all kinds of cheese, polenta, “seuppe” (the local soups), and cured meats.

The stage: Short and bumpy. This could be fun. Again, to watch.

47 kilometers in and  The 8-man breakaway of  Carthy , Amador,  Masnada, Ciccone, Cattaneo, Hamilton, Sosa, and Juul Jensen had the following lead:
2:35 over Tony Gallopin and Hubert Dupont (both ALM);
2:44 over Izagirre (AST) and Caruso (TBM)
3:06 over the main peloton.

Gallopin was determined to reach the front group. 

Slow wheel change for Gallopin, but he would chase back.
Forty kilometers to go and the gap was around 1:30.
At the start of the climb, an attack from Nibali, followed closely by Roglic, Carapaz, Lopez and Landa. Further behind, Polanc, in pink, in trouble. That group would be reeled in.
In the favorites group, that group would continue on together, joined by Carthy and Majka. Clawing his way back to the front, Caruso, doing an amazing job for his teammate Nibali. 
Attack Carapaz. Roglic began the chase, but Nibali took it over. Coming with them: Lopez and Landa. Eventually closing in on them Majka and Dombrowski.
Again, Nibali jumped followed by his three new best friends.
Time to enjoy Nibali's descent.
With Polanc suffering, Roglic is back in the virtual lead.
Ten kilometers to go and the gap to Carapaz was about 30 seconds.

Nice hairpins.
Coming back, Yates and Dombrowski, who go past that group.
Ahead, Carapaz has gained time--up one minute.
Coming back as well, Caruso to tow the group along.
Carapaz may be moving into the lead.
Carapaz in first, next up Yates. Nibali in third grabbing a few bonus points.





The wine:
Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle:
From the importerErmes Pavese is a youthful grower in the commune of La Ruine just outside of the town of Morgex in the high Alps minutes from the summit of Mont Blanc. Pavese works the native grape known as Prié Blanc. Starting with barely two hectares of vineyards, situated at about 1200 meters above sea level, Pavese has gradually expanded his holdings in this high altitude zone. He now produces three versions of Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle. Because these vineyards are so isolated, Pavese has been able to work with the original, pre-phylloxera root stock since that malady never infiltrated this area when it came sweeping through Europe many years ago.

Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle: A stunning wine from the highest vineyard site in Europe, with annual production of about 12,000 bottles of this austere, racy, mineral white wine with vivacity and length

The food:
Bleu d'Aoste is obviously aa blur cheese produced  with cow's milk from Valle d'Aosta farms over 600/700 meters above sea level. The crust is wrinkled, grey or reddish brown, depending on the degree maturation.The dough is soft, firm, white, with no holes and with the characteristic blue veined coloration.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Wine and Food of the Giro 2019: Stage 13

Where are we? CERESOLE REALE (Lago Serrù) Located in the Piedmontese side of Gran Paradiso National Park, Ceresole Reale has a great environmental value: both in summer and in winter you can play all the sports related to the mountains in an unpolluted environment. The little town lies in the centre of a basin surrouned by majestic peaks, which are reflected in the clear waters of the lake, navigable only by means without engine. Here you can enjoy many outdoor activities: trekking, climbing, biking, fishing, cross-country and mountaineering ski, wandering with snow rackets, ice fall climbing, all of them in a protected environment which makes you feel good. 

GASTRONOMY: Different meat with polenta (i.e. a cornmeal mush), polenta concia (i.e. polenta with melted butter and cheese), Gran Paradiso soup, trout cooked in a variety of ways. Renowned are also “toma” and butter from alpine pasture. Various kind of honey.  

The stage: Why, hi mountains. We've been waiting for you.

Up the road, a break of 28 riders, not given a lot of rope. Also word of a traffic jam ahead, possibly involving team buses.
Rather beautiful as well:

As they climbed, a pratfall by a fan attempting to run next to the riders caused some amusement on Eurosport. One of the interesting things about the sport is how close fans can get to the riders. Most are respectful. Some are not.

Closing in on 60 kilometers to go and the Astana led and rather small favorites group was just about a minute behind the remaining breakaway riders. At the top, Ciccone takes maximum kom points, cementing his lead. Now time for a descent which is fun to watch, but probably terrifying to do. The road is narrow, to say the least.

Forty kilometers to go and some regrouping in the chase group. A little bit of a respite as they prepare for the final climb.
Along the road: Ibex! Marmotte! 

Eighteen kilometers to go and the gap was around 2:30 to the pink jersey group. That group ahead would shed members rapidly on the climb.

First to attack out of the gc group: Landa. Struggling Yates and Polanc. He would reach teammates, to help him.
Horrible time for a mechanical for Lopez. The favorites group is now reduced to
Pozzovivo, Nibali, Carapaz, Roglic, Majka and Sivakov. Landa was still 17 seconds or so ahead, working with a teammate to try and gain time.

Under five kilometers to go and Zakarin attacks from the front group.
Behind, Pozzovivo drops from the Nibali group after a lot of hard work.
A move by Nibali, covered by the rest of the group. Next to go, Majka.
Ahead, Nieve caught Zakarin.
Essentially: Zakarin → Nieve → Bauke → Landa → Carapaz, Majka, Sivakov → Nibali, Roglic → Lopez.
Roglic attack, covered by Nibali.  That would bring them up to Sivakov, who they would leave behind. Ahead, Zakarin drops Nieve.
The stage winner: Zakarin. Next up: Nieve. Landa in third, gaining some very valuable time. Majka gaining time as well, as Roglic and Nibali ride in together.


The wine:  Umberto Fracassi Langhe Favorita 
Fracassi’s favorita (aka vermentino) is fermented half in barrel and half in stainless, and is aged in stainless tanks. This crisp, refreshing white offers scents of lemon, orchard flower, herbs, and rock/salt, with a zingy, stony finish.

From the importer: Umberto Fracassi’s family has been producing Barolo since 1880, a time when Barolo went from being un vino dolce to the grande vino secco that we all know today. After the Second World War, Marchese Fracassi, or simply Umberto, dedicated himself to carrying on the family tradition of producing old-school Barolo in Slavonian oak botti. The town of Cherasco sits at the northwest corner of the Barolo zone, just west of La Morra and Verduno, and its growing area includes Fracassi’s two-hectare Barolo monopole cru Mantoetto. This area is also known as Italy’s capital of snail production. Umberto also produces some white Favorita (Vermentino) that’s a good way to start a meal, as the Barolo is opening up in the decanter.
Journalist Levi Dalton did a fun and infomative interview on Umberto that I highly recommend:

The food:  Polenta concia
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 cups water
1½ Tbs. kosher salt
2 cups fine yellow cornmeal, Anson Mills Antebellum brand preferred
Olive oil
6 oz. thinly sliced, high quality Muenster cheese
5 oz. heavy cream

Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook the garlic until it is golden brown. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. Set aside.
Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the salt and reduce the heat to medium. Whisking continuously, slowly pour in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook the cornmeal for about 45 minutes, or until it’s very thick. Use a wooden spoon to fold it over onto itself every five to seven minutes. A medium-brown crust will form on the bottom of the pot because the cornmeal is cooking a long time. It’s an indication that you are doing it right.
Brush a nine-inch by nine-inch baking dish with olive oil. Dump half of the cornmeal in and spread it out evenly. Layer the sliced cheese on top. Spread the remaining half of the cornmeal over it.
Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot. Gently reheat the garlic butter over the lowest heat.
Using the handle of a spoon, make holes through the polenta all the way to the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the garlic butter sauce over the polenta, then pour on the hot cream. Serve immediately.
To make up to three days ahead, layer the cooked polenta and the cheese in the baking dish, cover, and refrigerate. Before serving, heat them in a warm oven until hot. Make the holes in the polenta, heat the garlic butter and cream, and pour them on. Serve immediately.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Wine and Food of the Giro 2019: Stage 12

Where are we?
Cuneo: Cuneo, founded in 1198, takes its name from the wedge-shaped plateau (534 m) where it is located, at the junction between the Gesso stream and the Stura river. Piazza Galimberti is the heart of the town with its traditional Tuesday market and Museo Casa Galimberti.

GASTRONOMY: Do not miss the chance to taste: the flavorous chocolate and rum pralines called “Cuneesi” (which were also highly appreciated by Ernest Hemingway, as he came to Cuneo in 1954), Cuneo salami, P.D.O. cheeses, marron glaceé, chestnut Cuneo cakes, smoked trouts.

Pinerolo (Pinareul in Piedmontese, Pineiròl in Occitan, Pignerol in French, Pinarolium / Pinerolium in Latin) is an Italian municipality of 35 944 inhabitants of the metropolitan city of Turin.To visit the city means to discover its medieval heart, its history of Savoy, the three French dominations until the birth of the School of Cavalry. The city, center of an area called Pinerolese, has been influenced by french culture, traditions and history. Pinerolese, that extends from Turin to France, has got a strong identity and a beautiful cultural heritage. In this area a lot of religious battles took place, whose tracks are still visible, and now different confessions coexist. During this tour you will see the most important buildings of Pinerolo and its neighborhood.

GASTRONOMY: Typical products: Torta Zurich, Pinerolese low panettone glazed with Piedmont hazelnut I.G.P., chocolates produced in local chocolate shops / Cheeses: Tomino di talucco, Seirass / Le mele di Cavour Meat and sausages: mustardela. Unmissable: bagna caoda, boiled mixed Piedmontese, braised in Barolo. Typical dishes of the Waldensian cuisine: planar, capounet, cabbage leaf rolls and the lou tourtel potato omelette. Among the first courses, the supa barbetta, with its variations, the polenta dousa and the traditional calhiettes (is of the Germanasca val) made with grated potatoes, sausage cooked in milk and onions. Liqueurs: Genepy

The stage: What is this I see? Why, yes, what Podium Cafe calls an antipasti of Mountains. Goodbye sprinters. We'll see you again for the Tour. In celebration, a large break of the day.  

That group would ride together for many kilometers, but then came the attacks. As they climbed, a group would get away:

Behind, the gc riders start to test each other. Lopez starts things off and a "bigs" group forms quickly. Lopez and Landa jump and get a nice gap. Cue: the many groups on the road point of the stage.

Ahead, Brambilla is the first at the top and gets a nice reward:

Looking like our new race leader will be Polanc. Meanwhile, as they approach the finish, the groups of front shatter as the riders dream of stage victory. The lead trio: Dunbar, Capecchi and Brambilla. Catching them from behind, Benedetti with the win. Time to watch the clock to see the gaps to the favorites.


1Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe3:41:49 
2Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida  
3Edward Dunbar (Irl) Team Ineos  
4Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:00:02 
5Eros Capecchi (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:00:06 
6Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:00:25 
7Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:00:34 
8Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:02:36 
9Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec  
10Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:02:38 


1Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates48:49:40 
2Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma0:04:07 
3Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:04:51 
4Eros Capecchi (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:05:02 
5Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:05:51 
6Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:06:02 
7Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:07:00 
8Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:07:23 
9Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team0:07:30 
10Hugh John Carthy (GBr) EF Education First0:07:33 
11Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Dimension Data0:07:37 
12Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:07:45 
13Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:07:53 
14Amaro Antunes (Por) CCC Team0:07:56 
15Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:07:59 
16Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:08:08 
17Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Education First  
18Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:08:16 
19Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos0:08:18 
20Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:08:21

The wine: Oddero 2016 Langhe Nebbiolo
From the producer: It is difficult to pinpoint a precise date for when our ancestors began making wine, though the vineyards and farmhouses that we live in today have always belonged to the family. From researching parish and township documents, however, we can confirm that the Oddero family has been present in the territory of La Morra since at least the 18th century.
Through writings, notarial acts, and personal photographs, we know that Giovanni Battista Oddero (1794 -1874)—and after him, his sons Lorenzo (1821-1903) and Luigi (1832-1893)—began to vinify grapes in the township of La Morra between the 18th and 19th centuries.

The food: Supa Barbetta

One head of cabbage (cleaned and leaves separated)
Stale bread sticks or bread (sliced)
Toma cheese (cubed)
Parmigiano-Reggiano (grated)
Chicken stock (homemade is best, but canned is OK)

To begin, warm the broth in a saucepan.
Meanwhile, grease a soup pot -- preferably copper or earthenware -- with butter and cover the bottom with cabbage leaves to prevent the soup from sticking.
Put a layer of stale bread and sprinkle with cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg (equal parts of cinnamon and nutmeg and a bit less cloves), salt and black pepper. Then spread a handful of cubed cheese over the top and sprinkle some Parmigiano. Add another layer of bread and continue the process until the pot is about four-fifths full.
Add the hot broth to the soup pot to cover the layers and cook the soup on a low flame for at least two hours. Gently shake the pot a bit occasionally, but resist the temptation to stir the soup. Stirring will break the bread or breadsticks. Don't worry, the cabbage will suffer so that the soup doesn't.
When the soup is just about ready, heat a knob of butter and add a twig of rosemary and a few sage leaves. When the butter is browned, remove the spices and pour the butter over the supa and serve.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Wine and Food of the Giro Stage 11

Where are we?
Carpi: Carpi, a pearl of the Renaissance: that appeared to the German travellers of the late XIX the ancient seigniory of Pio and even today bears witness to the recently restored Pio Palace – home of the most museums of the city. Nowadays Carpi is a lively city, thanks to its industries and handcraft, trade and its commercial and cultural exchange, its artistic and scientific life. It’s a city that never stops and offers a packed calendar of events throughout the year.

Novi Ligure: The city of Novi Ligure lies at the foot of the hills where the renowned Gavi wine was born, in the south-east side of Alto Monferrato, on the left borders of the river Scrivia valley. Visiting Novi Ligure will give you the chance to discover the historic centre and its Genoese-style palazzi with their typical painted facades, and also the Museo dei Campionissimi, a museum built in honor of the great road cyclists, campionissimi Costante Girardengo and Fausto Coppi. In the museum you can discover the history of cyclism through memorabilia, historical bycicles and various objects of the past and present day. Some of its rooms are especially dedicated to temporary exhibitions.

GASTRONOMY: In this part of Piedmont close to the border with Liguria, both food and wine show the influence of both regional traditions. The most remarkable delicacies are farinata, panissa, novese focaccia, agnolotti, corzetti (typical homemade rounded pasta dish with stamps of the historic districts symbols on it), Gavi’s testa in cassetta [Slow Food Presidia], Montebore cheese (Slow Food Praesidia), district of Merella’s chickpeas and Otto File Tortonese corn, baci di dama, amaretti biscuits, canestrelli with Gavi wine and boiled canestrelli.

Stage: Another very flat, likely to be a sprint stage. Our doomed break of the day:

I've said this before, but this is the sort of day when I feel bad for the commentators. Viewers can wander off and check their email and such, but they have to fill hours of time with very little to comment on. 

At least Frapporti has some excitment:

Well, after all that, no surprises today. But tomorrow, the fun starts.

Ettore Germano
From the importer: Several years ago Sergio Germano made an experimental batch of 'classic method' sparkling wine from early harvested Nebbiolo, and it was delicious. Red berries, bright acidity, beautiful pink color, I was smitten. Now we have enough to actually sell the wine (once my crew has had a crack at it), and we are very happy. The 'Rosanna' is named after Sergio's mother; it's made of young-vine Nebbiolo from around his winery (all Barolo vineyards), picked in early September as part of the ‘green harvest’ process, pressed carefully for a pale pink color, fermented as white wine (80% in stainless steel, 20% in used barriques for complexity), and bottled for the second fermentation in March following the vintage. After about 16 months of time on the lees the wine is disgorged and topped up only with the same wine, no 'liqueur.' The result is dry, delicious and complex, perfect as an aperitif but I think it would be great with salmon, too. Italy's most interesting sparkling wines are made of indigenous varieties, and this is one of them. The result is dry, delicious and complex (only about 3g/L of residual sweetness, depending on the vintage).

I say: This is gorgeous, pale pink/salmon. Crisp, joyful. Many strong bubbles. Some real fruit and body that doesn;t take away from the freshness.

Food:  Bonet (typical sweet from Piedmont)

Bonet is traditionally served during the colder months of the year. It is a soft, rich dessert, that can be eaten with a spoon.


Ingredients: Per 6 servings

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 oz granulated sugar
  • 4 oz amaretti cookies or macaroons
  • 1 ¼ oz cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Rum

  • 3 ½ oz water
  • lb granulated sugar


Step 1
Put the sugar into a casserole and add the water, then put it onto the heat and leave to cook.

Step 2
Check the coloring of the caramel, which must end up a deep brown.
Step 3
Pour the caramel into the appropriate moulds for Bônet and leave to cool.

Step 4
Put the whole eggs into a bowl and beat them together with the caster sugar.

Step 5
Blend in the cocoa powder and mix thoroughly, and then add the crushed Amaretti biscuits and the rum. Heat the milk separately and then add it to the mixture, mixing continuously with a whisk.
Step 6
Pour the mixture into the caramel-coated moulds.

Step 7
Put the moulds into a baking tray containing hot water and cook bain-marie style in the oven at 300°F for 40’-50’, until the dessert has completely coagulated.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Wine and Food of the Giro 2019 Stage 10

Where are we?
Ravenna: Ravenna is located in the north-east of the Italian peninsula, just a few kilometres from the Adriatic Sea. Its province covers the southern part of Romagna and extends from the sea to the gently rolling foothills of the Apennines. Ravenna, the city of mosaics, has been recognised as a world heritage by UNESCO: eight historic buildings are on the World Heritage List.
Beyond the suggestive cultural and natural heritage, Ravenna is also a city that boasts an old food tradition. The art of good food is deeply rooted in the farm knowledge of Romagna territory. The traditional menus include tasty handmade first courses such as tagliatelle, lasagna, strozzapretti, passatelli made with parmesan cheese and eggs, cappelletti with a cheese-filling, along with fish second courses or grilled mutton. Everything is accompanied by fine wines coming from the surrounding hills. Not to forget piadina – the “bread of Romagna”, filled with Squacquerone, a local buttery soft cheese or with savoury cold cuts.

Modena: Modena is a shrine of treasures to be discovered without haste, surprising travelers with a magical interweaving of art, gastronomy, music and motors. Located between the Secchia and Panaro rivers, in the heart of Emilia-Romagna, the city boasts a Unesco World Heritage Site (Duomo, Piazza Grande and Torre Ghirlandina) and it’s recognized as an inspiring land, attracting talent and passion, giving birth to celebrities admired all over the world such as Enzo Ferrari and Luciano Pavarotti. Modena is a land of engines with big brands such as Ferrari, Maserati and Pagani and it has also long been known for its cuisine, a reputation earned for authenticity, respect for tradition, and attention to the conservation of genuine flavor and its the Italian province richer in products with PDO and PGI denomination of origin

GASTRONOMY: in Modena you’ll will find a rich selection of fine food experiences offered by a network of restaurants, farms and artisans of taste that, with the preservation and enhancement of products and flavors, have been awarded in every field, such as the Osteria Francescana praised as one of the best restaurants in the world. Throughout the region you can visit farms producing Formaggio Parmigiano – Reggiano PDO, Lambrusco di Modena PDO, Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP, Prosciutto di Modena PDO and other local products. You can not leave Modena without having tasted Zampone and Cotechino Modena Igp, tortellini, gnocco fritto and the famous tigelle or crescentine. The Albinelli Covered Market, in Art Nouveau style, considered among the most beautiful in Italy, is certainly worth a visit.

Stage: Post rest day, should be a sprint stage for the win. Today, we have a likely doomed break of two riders.


More interesting than today's stage so far, weather reports for future stages:


 The truth is, there is often very little to say on a stage like this. 


Thirty kilometers to go and there was the catch: gruppo compatto. 
Indeed, a bunch sprint:

Wine: Castelluccio Ronco dei Ciliegi
From the importer: Owned by the renowned oenologist Vittorio Fiore, Castelluccio was originally founded in the 1970s. In the 1980s Vittorio Fiore became the consulting winemaker and in 1999 he purchased the majority of shares in the property. Castelluccio is nestled in the Modigliana Hills, between the two towns of Faenza and Forlì, at an altitude range of 750 - 1500 feet above sea level. The territory is known as Emilia Romagna and was part of Tuscany until the 1930s. Castelluccio extends approximately 150 acres, with 36 acres of vineyards and 6 acres with olive trees. The soil is compact layered marl and limestone, the location is composed of micro-areas called “ronchi”, referring to the rock formations that protrude from the mountain side, and render a very high quality of grapes. Sangiovese di Romagna, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc are the main grape varieties grown at Castelluccio. Sangiovese di Romagna is indigenous and expresses perfectly the character of the terroir and is a central grape to some of the world’s greatest wines. The heart of Castelluccio’s philosophy is to respect and interpret the characteristics of “Romagna.” An ideal location near both the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine Mountains, it is recognized as a micro-zone for Sangiovese di Romagna as well as being the only DOC named after the ubiquitous grape. The notable uniqueness in terroir contributes greatly to the expression of the varietal. The elite members of the Castelluccio Estate team make every effort to produce wines that reflect its uniqueness. The outcome is wine that compares flawlessly to the Sangiovese grapes being grown in areas of Tuscany just on the other side of the Apennines Mountain.

Food: Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese
Parmigiano-Reggiano is produced exclusively in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and parts of the provinces of Mantua and Bologna, on the plains, hills and mountains enclosed between the rivers Po and Reno.
The consortium says: 

The History of Parmigiano-Reggiano DOP

It is not necessary to carry out laborious research to gather documents on the ancient origins of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Nine Centuries of Excellence: its Origins
When it is said that Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese has been "a great cheese for at least nine centuries", it is not only highlighting its ancient origin. Indeed, it means pointing out that this cheese today is still identical to how it was eight centuries ago, having the same appearance and the same extraordinary fragrance, made in the same way, in the same places, with the same expert ritual gestures.
Historical evidence shows that already in 1200-1300, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese had reached its perfect typicality that has remained unchanged until the present day.
Today like in the past, cheese masters continue in their effort and in their risk by sincerely and proudly persisting in making their cheese with solely milk, rennet, fire and art, and in abiding by the rigorous centuries-old methods and application of the technique that is the result of special vocations and matured experiences.

Today: Recent History
The recent history of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is essentially the history of how the approximately 350 small artisan dairies of the typical area (that encompasses about three thousand milk producers) has obtained, by way of Law, the recognition of their determination in preserving the processing method and the very high qualitative level of the product.
It is the story of how the guarantee of genuineness of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is now an absolute guarantee, thanks to the precise rules, applied with strict conformity self-discipline and control.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is guaranteed from more than seventy years from the Consortium and, above all, it is loved since nine centuries for its generous taste.