One of Italy’s Most Revered Brands Showcased at the 2010 Olympic Games

Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium to Visit Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver, B.C. – Some global nameplates convey luxury, some prestige, some convey quality. And such is the case of one of Italy’s most cherished brands, Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Parmigiano-Reggiano is a hard granular cheese, cooked but not pressed, named after the producing areas of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua, Italy. Under European law, only cheese produced in these provinces may be labeled "Parmigiano-Reggiano," and its name classified as a protected designation of origin.
The use of the word “parmesan” can only be used within Europe where it refers to the actual Parmigiano Reggiano—however, in the rest of the world, it can be misleading as it applies to cheeses sold as parmesan but that are not the authentic product.

Representatives, including the President of the Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium Guiseppe Alai, will be touring the lower mainland and Vancouver Island regions of British Columbia during the 2010 Winter Olympics, showcasing Parmigiano-Reggiano, as well supporting the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI). The Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium, the marketing board that safeguards the authenticity of the brand, is an "official provider" to the Italian Olympic Team.

According to history, Parmigiano-Reggiano was created during the Middle Ages in the area bordering the provinces of Parma and Reggio Emilia. Its production spread to the provinces of Modena, Bologna and Mantua (note: the name of the provinces have been changed). Historical documents show that in the 13th-14th century Parmigiano was already very similar to that produced today.

Gourmets consider Parmigiano-Reggiano a splendid "table cheese" for eating, not merely for grating. Parmigiano-Reggiano is only made with cow’s milk, rennet and salt — no preservatives are allowed. True Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is aged an average of two years. The 24 month aged cheese has a sharp, complex fruity/nutty taste and a slightly gritty texture.

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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 side of the Po River and in the province of Bologna, it applies to the left side of the Reno river) and that is one of the emblematic products of traditional Italian food.