Parmigiano Reggiano

There are about 450 producers of Parmigiano Reggiano in Italy but only about 4% practicing organic agriculture. It's expensive and laborious to follow these methods. Why does this make a difference in quality? Simply put, "better milk = better cheese", and the path to better milk is the purity of the diet of our cows and the way they are cared for. The flavour of Bio-Hombre Parmigiano Reggiano is a unique blend of lipids and proteins that give this cheese its unrivalled identity. Organic agriculture has been our ethos since 1992.

Our production process

"Better the best" is the slogan of the Consortium of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, an inspiration that has always underpinned Hombre production. Animals, sheds, pastures, milking (our cow's milk reaches the first stage of cheese production in 10 seconds), making of the wheel, maturing, through to the cutting of Parmigiano, all carried out with constant attention to the smallest of details, all aimed at achieving a positive answer to the question, "Is this really the best milk we can obtain?" A method, a frame of mind, made possible by a farm with a closed production cycle, where everything is done to produce this unique cheese.

How is it done?

Production is always in line with the regulations of the Consortium. Milk from the evening milking is sent directly from the milking room to the dairy to rest in the surfacing tanks until the next morning after which, once skimmed, it is added to the whole milk of the morning in traditional copper-lined heaters shaped like an upturned bell. Natural rennet and whey starter is then added to the milk to start the curdling. The curd is broken down by the master cheesemaker into minuscule granules thanks to an ancient tool known as a "spino" whisk. After this operation the curd is cooked slowly, reaching a temperature of 55 °C, after which the cheese granules precipitate to the bottom of the heater to form a single mas. This is extracted by the cheesemaker and put into molds to make the cheese wheels. The wheels are then immersed in brine (a solution of salt and water), essentially a process of salting by osmosis. This constitutes the last step in the production cycle after which the ageing process is started. Each day 7000 litres of milk are transformed in this way to produce just 14 Bio-Hombre wheels.

Ageing

Our wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano are laid in rows and left to rest on wooden boards in the Hombre Farm warehouse. In this way the exterior of the cheese wheel dries to form a natural rind, without any treatments, and remaining completely edible. We produce three ages of Parmigiano Reggiano: "Fresco" (12-14 months), "Stagionato (22-24 months), and "Stravecchio" (over 30 months). Each of these three ages have very different organoleptic properties. The range runs from Fresco which starts from a simple milk base with a marked buttery scent), Stagionato, the most balanced style and the one most people recognize as classic Parmigiano Reggiano, and the spicy and accentuated granularity of Stravecchio, a rare and intensifed Parmigiano Reggiano.