What makes a great cheese? As the World Cheese Awards get under way, the woman responsible for some of the best-tasting parmesan in Italy opens the doors of the dairy where she works.
“I grew up with milk in my veins,” says Catia Zambrelli, the only woman cheese master in Italy’s cheese industry in the region of Emilia Romagna.
Hailing from the Parma region of Italy, parmesan, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, is one of the world\’s most popular cheeses.
It\’s tangy, crumbly and hard, and its pungent smell graces fridges across the UK.
It gets its intense flavour from unpasteurised milk and its long maturation process, something that can take years to learn, as Catia Zambrelli has found.
Learning to perfect the cheese has not been an easy journey for the woman who treats parmesan wheels like she would her own children, despite being born into a family of cheese-makers.