One of the Oldest Cheeses in the World, a 21-Year-Old Parmigiano Reggiano Wheel, Is Up for Auction

Bids for the decades-old wheel are now being accepted at the World Cheese Awards

A 21-year-old wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano. One of the oldest cheeses in the world, it's currently up for auction.
A 21-year-old wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano is on the block.

In association with the World Cheese Awards at the International Cheese Festival in Spain next month, a 21-year-old cheese wheel is hitting the block.

With the proceeds from the auction going to charity, the wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano is being auctioned off via the fundraising platform Givergy with bids being accepted until November 6.

One of the oldest edible cheeses in the world, the elderly Parmigiano Reggiano was produced in April 2000 by the Latteria di Tabiano dairy in Italy. By rule, the minimum maturation period of a Parmigiano-Reggiano wheel is 12 months, though it is generally aged for somewhere between 24 and 48 months. One of the first wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano to be awarded “Quality of the Mountain” status by the Conva Consortium, the 21-year-old wheel was kept in a warehouse until 2018.

Parmigiano Reggiano contains just three ingredients (milk, salt, and rennet)
Parmigiano Reggiano contains just three ingredients (milk, salt, and rennet)

“As every age acquires unexpected and unparalleled aromas and flavors, a 21-year-old wheel of cheese is expected to be amber straw yellow with an intense toasted smell,” according to the auction website. “The aromatic analysis should highlight typical leather, underwood, truffle, and smoky notes. The cheese will probably have a special structure: dry, very crumbly, and soluble. It is an exclusive gift and a pleasant companion to be tasted with structured and meditation wines.”

A product with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, Parmigiano Reggiano is governed by strict specifications registered within the European Union and can only be made in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and parts of Mantua and Bologna northern Italy. Naturally lactose-free and made with no additives or preservatives, Parmigiano Reggiano contains just three ingredients (milk, salt and rennet). One of the oldest and richest cheeses in the world, Parmigiano Reggiano is still produced with the production techniques that were used to make it nearly 1,000 years ago.


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