I have recently started watching a program on the ABC called Cheese Slices. The host who is a master of cheese takes you to different parts of the world and explains the hows and why's of artisan cheese. I had to have a small giggle to myself checking out the website as there are 'cheese photos' which are like cheese lover's porn....seriously have a look!
This week's episode was on Parmigiano-Reggiano, coming from the north of Italy from the town(s) also famous for parma ham. It was actually facinating to hear how this process has not changed for hundreds of years - what was really interesting is the government regulations on how the cheese is made, to keep its authenticity and quality.
The cows only come from certain areas close by and only certain slopes on the countryside - they are also only fed grass and hay from the local area!
Interesting that in one country they value the differences between grain and grass fed cows milk yet most westerners would be hard pressed to know there WAS a difference!
This was very interesting that quality went hand in hand with natural-ness - now that IS food for thought.
The other interesting part of the episode is when the host sits down with the cheese maker's family and eats a pasta lunch with lots of grated parmigano-reggiano on top. The comment is made about "eating like this everyday" to which the family replied "we eat this for lunch everyday".
This to me shows the difference in western diets again, we are so hung up on choices! I am starting to wonder what is really so wrong with eating only a small selection of foods everyday?? (providing they are good...of course!)