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THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 2023 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 I f you want to buy safe- l y , y o u m u s t l o o k a t two things: the prod- uct's label and brand. When we want to wear authentic Made in Italy, we buy Armani or Versace not only because they, just like Valentino or Dolce & Gabbana, have a unique design, style, and beauty, but also because of their craftsmanship and high- quality fabrics. We certainly don't settle for a cheap fake: that'd be like going to Christie's and leaving the auction with a fake, all happy to have bought something that we know is worthless. The truth is, we should do the same when buying food products. In fact, considering it can also affect our health, we should be even more careful. So, when we are face-to-face with a counterfeit product, we mustn't give in to the lure of cheapness, because cheapness means low quality and poor controls. Similarly, we shouldn't be fooled by a tricolored flag or by a name that recalls Italy without making sure, by read- History, quality, controls, authenticity: it's all inside our Made in Italy From the Editor ing the label or checking out the brand, that what it advertis- es is really made in Italy. Inside Parmigiano Reggiano, the king of Italian cheeses, there are only three ingredients: milk, salt, and rennet. What makes it unique, delicious, and full of precious organoleptic elements is precisely the fact it is all-natural: no preserva- tives, no chemical additives, and no GMOs. In Parmigiano, milk derivatives, food enzymes, or flavor- ings are prohibited; but there is more because the extremely rigorous guidelines and certifications regulating its produc- tion also establish that the rennet, an indispensable protease mixture used to coagulate casein particles, must come, unlike it happens for other cheeses, only from veal. Milk can come exclusively from farms located within the Parmigiano production area, which includes the plains and mountainous areas of the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emil- ia, Modena, Bologna (to the left of the Reno River), and Mantua (to the right of the Po River). We're not talking about simple milk here: it must be whole morning milk mixed with that from the previous evening. The evening milk is placed in containers called skimmers and left to rest all night so that the cream naturally rises to the surface. The fatty part will be used to make butter, while the milk that has been naturally skimmed is used for Parmigiano. In the morning, it is transferred to copper cauldrons shaped like an inverted cone, typical of Parmigiano production, where it is mixed with the full-fat morning milk. It's not over yet. Animal feed regulations established by the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium state that the cows producing milk for Parmigiano must be fed exclusively with fresh forage in the summer and hay in the winter. All must be grown in natural and "stable" meadows, where "stable" means they self-regenerate spontaneously without ever being sown, plowed, or tilled. The same regulation – which, incidentally, allows for the use of the Parmigiano Reggiano label only after verifying that all these steps have been respected – prohibits the administration of fermented feeds and animal protein flours and forbids any technique forcing animals to produce milk. Because the well-being of animals is important, too. And let it be clear: not all cows produce the 550 liters of milk necessary to make a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano. The nutritional and organoleptic characteristics of the milk, which give that distinctive flavor to the cheese after process- ing, depend on the cow's breed. The raw material comes from the Italian Friesian breed, characterized by its black and white or red and white coat; from the Brown Swiss breed, with its particularly flavorful milk rich in variant B of K-casein, which allows for excellent milk coagulation; and from the Reggiana red cow, whose intense and structured milk contains a considerable amount of casein that helps with the cheese's long aging times. Precise rules apply also to the processing phase. For example, a wheel must "obligatorily" weigh between 30 kg and over 40 kg (usually, it is around 40 kg), with an average of 14 liters of milk for every kilogram of cheese produced and a minimum aging period of 12 months. Just to let you know, this is all you find inside a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, a label that indicates a product with a protected designation of origin. It may also be the most counterfeited among Italian cheeses, but it is difficult to imagine that a "Parmesan Cheese" from Wisconsin has all of this inside. Simone Schiavinato, Editor Simone Schiavinato NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 Member of FUSIE (Federazione Unitaria Stampa Italianaall'Estero), COGITO L'Italo-Americano 610 West Foothill Blvd. Unit D, Monrovia, CA 91016 - Tel.: (626) 359-7715 PLEASE SEND CORRESPONDENCE TO P.O. BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano Newspaper (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization), www.italoamericano.org, is the largest and longest-running Italian newspaper in America, not to mention the cultural and news resource for all things Italian in the US. A bilingual newspaper which repre- sents an historical landmark for the Italian American Communities in the West Coast and throughout the US. L'Italo-Americano benefits from subsidies by the Italian Government, Memberships and Donations intended to support and not interrupt a mission that began in 1908 to preserve and promote the Italian language and culture in the USA Periodicals postage paid at Monrovia, California 91016, and additional mailing offices. PUBLISHER Robert Barbera Grande Ufficiale EDITOR IN CHIEF Simone Schiavinato ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Patrick Abbate EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Barbara Minafra COPY EDITOR Francesca Bezzone LOS ANGELES CONTRIBUTOR Silvia Nittoli SAN FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTORS Serena Perfetto SEATTLE CONTRIBUTOR Rita Cipalla CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mariella Radaelli, Matt Walker, Francesca Bezzone, Luca Ferrari, Stefano Carnevali, Paula Reynolds, Nicoletta Curradi, Generoso D'Agnese, Jessica L. Levi, Fabrizio Del Bimbo, Maria Gloria, Chuck Pecoraro, Anthony Di Renzo Serena Perfetto, Kenneth Scambray, Chiara D'Alessio © 2020 L'Italo-Americano Membership: One year $59 - Single copy $2.25 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to L'Italo Americano PO Box 6528 Altadena, CA 91003 P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003

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