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Meet Italy’s Pioneering Cheese Master


Since many respected artisan cheesemakers in the U.S. happen to be women, it’s easy to forget it’s not that way in other countries. In Italy, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese master Catia Zambrelli is not only the sole female maker of the heralded cheese, but has had to masquerade under her husband’s name for years in order to make a living — the farmers only trusted the team if there was a man in the business. Today, it’s a different story.

Catia Zambrelli has been working at the Bertinelli Dairy for three years, a family business which has been producing milk since 1895.

“Today my professionalism is acknowledged, but it has taken a lot of work and sometimes bitterness to be fully respected as a cheese master,” she says.

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Photo by BBC

Rebecca Haley-Park

Rebecca Haley-Park is culture's Editor and resident stinky cheese cheerleader. A native New Englander, she holds a BFA in creative writing from University of Maine at Farmington.