By Robin Wilson
Cutting the cheese has no meaning when it comes to Parmigiano-Reggiano. It’s actually quite the procedure getting to the center of the nine century old craft that produces 80 lb. wheels of goodness. This is no tootsie-pop. Licking will get you nowhere.
Loblaws, in efforts to educate & involve its customers, has taken on a delicious Guinness World Record breaking task, involving 300 wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano and a whole lot of “Crackers”. Chef Tom Filippou, Executive Chef/National Director of President’s Choice Cooking School, graces the kitchen with Parma Perfection, while also introducing us to a true Good Food Revolutioniz’er, Leo Bertozzi.
Mr. Bertozzi is the General Director of the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano, based in Italy. His visit to Toronto is largely thanks to the Loblaws Parmesan Reggiano venture team. Sounds like a nice gig to me: live in italy, eat cheese, travel, talk cheese. Note to self – move to Italy.
Fortunately I got to speak with Mr. Bertozzi one-on-one, while stuffing my face with basil olive oil and Parmesan dusted popcorn of course. I was most interested to hear about one of his newer projects, working as the Vice President for OriGIn – The Organization for an International Geographical Indications Network.
Established in 2003, this non-for-profit organization aims to put a stop to Geographical Indication abuse. Example, Parmigiano-Reggiano can really only be produced in certain regions of Italy (Parma/Reggio Emilia/Modena/Bologna & Mantova – to be exact), such as Champagne can only be produced in Champagne, and so on. Impressive is learning this organization represents over 350 associations in over 40 countries – including Canada’s own Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants. Any organization that has a goal to foster “sustainable development for local producers and communities” is one that I can get on board with.
To catch all the world record breaking excitement click here.
For more information on OriGIn