The dairy factory Nuova Mandrio was born in 1948 thanks to few farmers working in the Correggio area. Nowadays the associates are around twenty and they produce milk to be transformed into Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for a total of more than 90.000 quintal of milk worked in a year. Half of the 18.000 forms of cheese produced every year is sold directly to the final consumer in our dairy store.
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The Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is never manufactured, though always handmade. In fact, the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is still made with its essential and genuine ingredients, as eight centuries ago: the selected milk produced in the place of origin, rennet, fire and art, following the rigorous centuries-old methods and the techniques matured after year of experience.
This special and antique production is the first main difference that sets the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese apart from the other kinds of similar cheeses, often mistakenly confused by calling them “grana”. Those cheeses are mainly industrial products, made through standardized technologies and methodologies in big warehouses with the aim of minimizing the costs of transformation. This procedure cannot give to the product that delicate mixed of flavours and quality that only an artisan production and a natural and long maturation can offer.
The milk from the evening is kept until the morning in big open-top stainless steel basins, in which the cream naturally rises to the surface and then is removed to produce butter and cream itself.
The evening milk is partly skimmed by doing so and it is then poured into typical copper boilers of the shape of a reversed bell to be mixed with the morning whole milk.
The adding of calf rennet and starter whey allows the milk curdling to take place. Wrapped into a cloth, the curd is then put into a wooden or metal mould, called “fascera” and it is slightly pressed to facilitate the exit of the whey. In this phase the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese takes its typical form.
After a few days, cheeses are salted in a bath of salt solution for 20-25 days.
After a short exposition to the sun in order to firm the rind, the weel is taken to a “cascina” which is the warehouse, where the first maturation period takes place. The cheese is then set on all-wood tables, built up as castle, and it is constantly brushed, turned and controlled.
All the weels produced in a dairy store in the same season (dairy year) is called “partita”. From this moment on, it starts the long process of natural maturation that continues in dedicated warehouses where the “partite” are moved at the end of the year. The maturation period is characterized by precise programs of turning and cleaning of each weel.