A delicious asset: inside the Cheese Bank of Italy
In the Italian region of Emilia Romagna, a traditional bank called Credito Emiliano lines its coffers with edible gold. As Great Big Story reports, the financial institution accepts parmigiano-reggiano (parmesan cheese) as collateral for loans, in addition to conventional currencies.
Emilia-Romagna is a major producer of parmigiano-reggiano, which is a hard, dry cheese made from skimmed milk. (Similar to how sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if it was made in the region of Champagne, France, Emilie-Romagne is the only region in the world that can legally use the name parmigiano-reggiano.) Unsurprisingly, cheese is a lucrative local commodity: wheels of parmigiano-reggiano can be worth thousands of dollars, making the food a safe bet for banks looking for to lend money to cheese producers. And conveniently, Parmigiano-Reggiano should be aged between 18 and 36 months, so it’s ideal for long-term investments.
To keep the cheese safe (and delicious), Credito Emiliano stores it in a local warehouse. “We protect the investment of the producer, mainly from the cow to the bank,” jokes Roberto Frignani, general manager of the warehouse. Learn more about Italy’s Cheese Bank (and see what over 160 million euros worth of Parmigiano-Reggiano looks like) by watching the Great Big Story video below.
[h/t Great Big Story]