Parmesan and Salumi

Posted By: Ritu Dalmia                

I hate the weatherman..he is a big liar. They told me to expect non-stop sunshine, it is freezing cold, raining non-stop and the hotel gave me a wake up at bloody 5.00 am.
After all that wine from last night, and all that food, I need my beauty sleep, but suddenly Monica does not care if my eyes are a bit puffy or not. She just gives me that look - “Who asked you to make yourself look like a pig last night?”

But looking at how Parmesan is made, makes it worthwhile! We went to a very small production facility, and although I would have liked to talk a bit more with the cheese-man from Cefalu, I guess with Attelio, there really was no scope.

Milk boiled in copper vats, constantly stirred, adding of the rennet, straining it in fine muslin, to me it looked a bit like “paneer making.”

But the highlight really was going to the ageing room, wheels and wheels of Parmesan, slowly biding their time till one day, when they truly deserve the title “King of all Cheese” they would be shipped to all corners of the world.

After a quick breakfast (where I forced Jalaj to stuff his face, I was getting a bit nervous, God knows when he will see his next meal) we were to drive to Zibello famous for most Italian cold cuts.
By now the cold air had slowly seeped through my muscles, and at that point I reminded myself to ask for a well heated trailer at my disposal next time we went out shooting. This list is sort of ahem getting long now.

We all were quite impressed by the cellars of Massimo where thousands of legs were curing, but now I was hungry and quite looking forward to lunch at his famous restaurant “il cavallino Bianco.”
I need some wine to warm me up, and I will not let Monica make me feel guilty, however, suddenly the atmosphere is a bit strange on the table.

We had our shots of cheese and meat and were ready to move on, but Attelio had other ideas..he wanted to take us to yet another cheese factory, he still had not had his “camera fix” if only he knew we were filming him for the last 4 hours without a tape (I am a sensitive girl, I was not going to hurt him by telling him ENOUGH DON’T NEED ANY MORE).

Monica and Jalaj did a quick disappearing act leaving me all alone with a very grumpy Attelio..I had two choices either to sit quietly and eat my lunch, pretending all was good, or scurry off the kids on pretext of doing a P2C.

In spite of the rumblings in my stomach I took the cowards way out and ran…And guess what? I did deliver a neat clean P2C. Lesson of the morning – If you want to do a clean P2C, make sure your stomach is empty!

The exciting part was coming soon we were driving to Pollenzo, The slow food capital of the world and we had dinner reservations at Da Guido. I was in a boisterous mood, I had invited my flock and Franco for dinner, and of course only the very best for la mia ragista and Rajat..oops Jalaj..
These thoughts did not stay very long..but more later on that…
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