If you have plans to eat your way through Italy this summer, you may want to conserve your Parmesan cheese. Among the casualties of the 6.0 earthquake that hit northern Italy early Sunday: artisan cheeses. The area outside Bologna, known for its Parmesan cheese, was hit the hardest by the quake.
The Associated Press reported that nearly 10 percent of the country's Parmesan cheese production was affected by Sunday's disaster. Nearly 10 Parmesan factories were damaged in the quake, and about 300,000 wheels total fell off shelves. Some of the damaged wheels can be saved — moved to other facilities to age, or simply be used in pre-packaged foods. Of the seven people killed in the quake, four were factory workers during the overnight shift.
The main concern is the economic impact, as the Parmesan cheese alone brings in nearly €1.9 billion in sales. Still, most of the factories were back to work producing cheese the next day.