The Museum of Parmigiano Reggiano
The museum is located in the city of Soragna in the Parma flatlands, between via Emilia and the Po River. It is a few blocks away from were Giuseppe Verdi was born.
The museum is housed in a 19th cheese factory, owned by Meli-Lupi family. All of the old cheese-making equipment and instruments are on display.
Classic Parmigiano Reggiano is an exceptional Italian cheese with ancient origins. It is known and enjoyed throughout the world. In the middle of the 14th century, Boccaccio mentions Parmigiano in the Decameron.
He suggests it be tossed with maccheroni and ravioli. In his description of the Paese di Bengodi – where there more one sleeps, the more one earns – there is an enormous mountain of grated cheese. Large ravioli and maccheroni of all types cooked in capon broth are rolling down the mountain.
The Court of Castellazzi, the headquarters of the Parmigiano Museum, is comprised of a farmhouse with a stall, a hayloft and the precious dairy and cheese-making facility. The dairy is round with columns, built by prince Casimiro Meli-Lupi around 1848 and active until 1977.
There are over 120 objects inside the museum, dating from 1800 to the first part of the 20th century. There are also about one hundred images, drawings, and historical photos that illustrate the transformation of the milk into cheese, the phases of aging, the commercialization of the cheese and the role of the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium.
There is even an exhibit dedicated to the many types of imitation Parmigiano made throughout the world. In the tasting room it is possible to try the cheese in various ages. In the rustic rooms surrounding the main part of the museum, there is also a collection of equipment and household objects having to do with food.