Italian Cheese Consortium to Visit 2010 Games

Vancouver, B.C. – Representatives of the Consortium representing one of Italy’s most famous brands, Parmigiano-Reggiano, will be visiting Vancouver as part of their ongoing support of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI).

Among the dignitaries is Consortium President, Mr. Guiseppe Alai, who will be representing the Consortium at a number of functions during his stay.

Along with a series of special events being held at Casa Italia (Italy House at Vancouver’s Roundhouse Community Centre), Mr. Alai will visit some of the premier Vancouver area restaurants including CinCin, Araxi (Whistler), Don Francesco, Al Porto, Campagnola, Cibo, Capones, Il Giardino, Caminetto di Umberto (Whistler) and Quattro (Whistler). Each of these renowned establishments will feature Parmigiano-Reggiano in their menus during the Olympics.

The newly opened Thrifty Foods in White Rock has been selected to host a very special event on February 11th where Mr. Alai will honor the tradition and celebration behind the world’s most famous cheese by opening a reel of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The cracking open of the 24-month aged, 85-pound wheel, is a centuries-old art, and involves using five different types of knives. The wheel is opened so that the internal crystalline structure with its characteristic crumbly texture is left fully intact.

Mr. Alai is available for media to discuss his organizations’ involvement with the Italian Olympic team as well as the Canadian visit of the Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium.

For more information about Parmigiano-Reggiano visit: www.parmigiano-reggiano.it.

The making of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which dates back to the Middle Ages, was handed down by the Benedictine and Cistercian monks.  As it was done nine centuries ago, Parmigiano-Reggiano is made today using the same natural ingredients—raw milk, rennet and salt--and with the same care and craftsmanship.  It is a cheese that undergoes a long maturation process, that is a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) product—this means that it is produced in a well-defined area of Northern Italy (in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia and Modena.  In the province of Mantua, this applies to the right of the Po River and in the province of Bologna, it applies to the left of the Reno river) and that is one of the emblematic products of traditional Italian food.