The ministers of the European Common Market are currently trying to find a way of reducing the Community's chronic surplus of dairy products.
The ministers of the European Common Market are currently trying to find a way of reducing the Community's chronic surplus of dairy products. But in Italy, one of Europe's most famous dairy products -- Parmesan Cheese -- is in such short supply that its price has soared out of the reach of most Italian housewives.
SYNOPSIS: Italians are fond of their cheeses, especially the various highly individual types to be found in the outlying districts of the country. Because of the rising costs facing dairy farmers throughout the Community, dairy products, such as butter and cheese are becoming so expensive that they are losing their markets to substitute products made with vegetable oils. Nevertheless, because of the food policy, there is a huge surplus of diary products which cannot be sold. the Community's agricultural food policy, there is a huge surplus of dairy products which cannot be sold. The Community is now considering a proposal to tax vegetable oils and fats to bring their prices up to dairy products.
Parmesan has consequently become an early victim of EEC polices. But is rumoured in Italy that another cause for the inflated prices may be that small local producers in the Parmigiana region are hoarding the cheeses, waiting until the price has reached a ceiling.
This very strongly flavoured cheese has been made for centuries -- there is even some evidence to suggest that it was made during the days of the Roman Empire. Genuine Parmesan is matured over along period of time, during which it is put out in the hot sun for several days before being stored in cellars. Add current inflation, and Parmesan becomes high in price and flavour.