Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Don't know much about money, honey...

...but I sure love cheese! I can't get this story out of my mind.

The Credem bank in the small northern Italian town of Castelfranco Emilia isn’t your typical financial institution. Not only does it offer loans to its customers, the bank also allows them to use something interesting as collateral - cheese wheels.
Bank manager Paolo Benni says cheese deposits have been made for the last 80 years and that the bank holds about a tenth of the world-famousParmigiano-Reggiano parmesan produced each year.

“Clients deposit their cheese here and the bank gives a loan based on a percentage of its value,” he says.
”If a producer can’t pay back the loan, we can simply sell their cheese we have in storage and recoup our loss."

But the bank also has a culinary interest in the cheese, and helps in the aging process, which usually takes a minimum of 12 months.

Each year, the bank holds about 450,000 cheese wheels in two storage facilities and each wheel can fetch up to 2,700 euros.


  1. I think the world financial crisis has just been solved. If we all eat our weight in parmesan. Which I could totally do.

  2. And: both! love it! ps. I got your wonderful package in the mail today. Makes me want to go thrifting for an old suitcase. thank you so much!!! hope to return the favor inkind.

    Raina: yes! cheese is the answer, dummies. there's this japanese restaurant in NYC that mixes your fucking pasta in a giant parmesan wheel!!!!

  3. OMFG, can we move there, like now?

    Also, thanks so much for the lovely little postcard. Check your mail soon!

  4. So I read this on your blog last week. Then, later on, Joe and I went to a restaurant and ordered dinner (wait, it gets better). Well, the food comes and the waiter asks, "Would you like fresh grated Parmesan on that?" I practically shout at him "YES!" and when I look up I realized the question was directed at the pizza-eating Joe, not the chicken and mashed potato-eating me. The waiter was visibly confused, so of course when he returned with the cheese I explained all about this bank, and the cheese, and the loans...geez oh man I felt like a dufus.

    Also, there is this restaurant in Budapest that serves pasta with sauce out of a cheese wheel; they call it "The Priest Strangler."

  5. Whit- hahahah that's a great story! parm is good on everything anyhow...


The divine PB&J in me, salutes the divine PB&J in you.