We visited a certified parmesan cheese factory in Italy where 88-pound wheels can take up to 10 years to be finished

  • A wheel of parmesan cheese can cost over $US1,000.
  • A single wheel takes at least one year to age, 131 gallons of milk to make, and it can only be made in a restricted area in northern Italy.
  • The industry is worth 2.2€ billion ($US2.5 billion).
  • We visited a dairy in Parma, Italy to find out why it is so expensive.

A wheel of parmesan cheese can cost over $US1,000 and has an average weight of 88 pounds, which means it cost over $US11 per pound.

Parmesan cheese is a big business for Italy. An average of 3.6 million wheels are produced each year, and the industry is worth an eye-popping 2.2€ billion ($US2.5 billion), making this cheese one of Italy’s biggest exports.

A single wheel takes at least one year to age, 131 gallons of milk to make, and it can only be made in a restricted area in northern Italy, in the region of Emilia Romagna. Its Italian name, in fact, Parmigiano Reggiano, means ‘from the cities of Parma and Reggio Emilia.’

We visited a dairy in Parma, Italy to find out how the cheese is made and why it is so expensive.

Produced and filmed by Claudia Romeo

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