17 is the number of casualties, at the moment when this article was written, of the earthquake that struck Emilia-Romagna and northern Italy on may 29th 2012. 14.000 is, instead, the total of people who have lost their homes. Many of them were and are factory workers who were busy at work and within seconds they found themselves engulfed by the rubble.
As aftershocks keep hitting the region, the Italian Government is already at work to raise money (gas prices have been raised) and help the needy but there are little things that we can do too.
Emilia-Romagna is well known for its production of delicious food products yet there would be no cuisine in Emilia without Parmigiano Reggiano, the hard, semi-fat cheese, that is cooked but not pasteurized, slow-maturing with high-protein content and carries the fame of a secular nobility.
The earthquake has also damaged several dairies where Parmigiano Reggiano is produced and aged. An estimated 300.000 wheels of forty kilos each have fallen off the shelves, thus creating an unprecedented domino effect.
Every year production amounts to 3 million wheels that have undergone an aging process of a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 24. Two thirds of them are placed on the Italian market, the rest is exported. The fallen wheels amount to 10% of yearly Parmigiano production. The price of a regular wheel is of 420 euros, therefore the Consortium, the official body that combines all dairy producers to safeguard the typicality of Parmigiano Reggiano, has estimated a loss of 80 million euros.
The Parmigiano production chain is strictly regulated, so only the fallen wheels that did not get damaged can be moved to different warehouses in the area that meet the temperature and humidity requirements necessary for aging. All other wheels can be sold at discount prices. Furthermore, considering the international demand of Parmigiano and the decrease in production due to the earthquake, prices for parmigiano are bound to increase.
By buying the fallen wheels people are not just saving money but they are helping the dairy factories that have to deal with the enormously expensive consequences of the terrible earthquakes.
This is what is available for purchase in Italy. There is no information, at the moment, for international orders.
- Parmigiano Reggiano 14 months, 11,5 € a kg in pieces of 500gr. Or 1kg vacuum-sealed
- Parmigiano Reggiano 27 months, 13,00 € a kg in pieces of 500gr. Or 1kg vacuum-sealed
- Spreadable cream, 11,00 € a kg in 250gr. Jars
Orders can be placed either by emailing [email protected] for single or small requests or by contacting Azienda Agricola Biologica Casumaro Maurizio, Via per Cavezzo-Camposanto, 19 – Loc. Solara – Bomporto (MO). Phone numbers: 346 1779737 or 340 9016093. email: [email protected] for big orders or orders by businesses and associations.