The Cheese Makers
Above and beyond all the regulations that govern Parmesan production, the role of the cheesemaker or casaro is absolutely fundamental. These men (and it is always men) train for years before being allowed to practise their art. The character of the cheese, therefore, is as much a reflection of 'l'arte del casaro', the skill of the cheese maker, their passion and diligence, as the other factors mentioned.
Domenico, the casaro at Superchina, has been making Parmesan for 25 years and Umberto at Iris even longer. They bring to mind the casaro of the past, whose curative powers with cheese were also often applied to people and who occupied a role in Emilian life somewhere between a healer and a magician.