Thorns in the cheese and elsewhere

Piazza Garibaldi, Colorno

Interesting fact learned the other day: the tool used to break the curd during the making of a parmigiano-reggiano cheese is called a spino, meaning thorn-bush, after the hawthorne bushes traditionally used in the process. We are looking forward to our first field trip to see the process for ourselves in the next week or so.

The week is flying by as we compare notes on our various degrees of illness and ease into life in this new country, new course of study. Tomorrow the public services have conspired to allow those of our class living in Parma to experience our first public transit sciopero (strike), and so our morning will be spent competing for taxi service to get us to classes on time. This will be swiftly followed by a train strike on the weekend. Bemused travellers in this country will have noticed alternate train and other schedules posted ‘in caso di sciopero’. Such is their regularity that you can consult a calendar of them to plan your movements accordingly.

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