This is fascinating- and helps one to understand that much more why Italy is so invested in protecting the name/origin of Parmigiano Reggiano.
ITALY (CNN) — Producers of Italy’s famed parmesan cheese have been storing their product in bank vaults. It’s part of a banking program that accepts the expensive cheese as collateral for loans.
At Credem Bank they’re not taking any risks because inside, under lock and key are some of Italy’s most solid assets. Bank vice president Alfredo Germini says, “Every year, we store 430 thousand wheels of parmesan cheese at a total value of 190 million Euros.”
These precious walls of cheese belong to the bank for now, at least. They’re part of a cash-for-cheese loan that started 50 years ago with Credem Bank, but the practice actually dates back to the Medici era in around the 15th century.
More than 20 parmigiano reggiano producers and wholesalers keep their cheese in these bank vaults. In return, they receive a cheap loan…