“After a lovely tour, tasting and watching the brilliant bright Italian sun set from her shop, as we left – [Marisa] looked at me sternly and said ‘I wait you’– meaning she would wait for me to return to her dairy and talk about working together.”
Carrie Blakeman—Managing Director of Rogers Collection–is describing her first meeting with Marisa Verzelloni–master casara, or cheesemaker of Parmigiano-Reggiano of Caseificio di Gavasseto e Roncadella in the eponymous villages within a few kilometers of each other in the Emilia Romagna province of Italy. (At the time of their first meeting, the two villages – Gavasseto and Roncadella – had separate dairies and Marisa was casara of Caseificio Roncadella). It was May, 2015 and Carrie was in Parma for the Cibus International Food Exhibition–a fair for the Italian agri-food sector.
“I had been at the fair all day,” says Carrie. “I got a call from a colleague who lives in Italy who said, ‘I’m coming to pick you up, there is someone you should meet.’” That was, of course, Marisa. “Marisa and I had an instant connection,” Carrie says. She adds with a tone of humility, only to highlight their connection, “Until our meeting, [Marisa] never once considered selling her cheese to the USA. I could not wait to get back there.”
To read the rest of the story, please go to: Rogers Collection