Being a fan of authentic Italian cuisine, especially fine cheeses and gourmet “salumi” like prosciutto, mortadella and Cotechino Modena, I was very happy to recently attend “Tasting The Tradition Of Italy” event given by The Italian Trade Agency and the Italian Association Of Geographic Indication Consortia at the Osteria Del Principe. Italian cuisine has become so widespread in the USA's foodie culture for the past 75-90 years—and it is arguably the most popular type of foreign cuisine that we have--yet there’s still so much to learn about quality and authenticity of the products Italy has to offer. Guest speakers were Pier Maria Saccani from AICIG, Mary E. Barham of the American Product Of Origin Research Foundation.
|Pecorino Romano and Pecorino Toscana Cheeses|
The ITA has 75 offices in 65 countries around the globe and is the Italian government agency entrusted with the mission to facilitate contacts between Italian companies and the rest of the world, while the AICIG’s main focus is dedicated to cross collaboration between consortiums, helping them to join forces and achieve their shared goals. Food press was able to “press the flesh” with makers of many fine and famous imported cold products--as well taste some hot classics created with products on display, including an amazing truffle risotto. I admit that I stuffed myself to the gills, but it was also a great learning experience as reps from the ITA and AICIG were on hand to discuss the strict guidelines Italian products have to adhere to in order to get labeled DOP/PDO (Denominazione di Origine Protetta or “Protected Designation of Origin”), TSG ("Traditional Specialties Guaranteed") or IGP (“Indicazione Geografica Protetta” aka "protected geographical information"). These are true hallmarks of high quality/authenticity!
|Prosciutto Di San Daniele, Gorgonzola and Mortadella and more|
|Chianti Classico Olive Oil|
|Prosciutto Di Parma PDO|