The Consortium's homage to Verdi: the recipe for one of his favourite dishes, and on video, "Risotto alla Giuseppe Verdi".

The secrets of Giuseppina Strepponi revealed to those attending the concert on Saturday, 20th July in Busseto

Reggio Emilia, July 19, 2013 - "…also put in, one after the other, three good handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese…". Thus wrote Giuseppina Strepponi, Giuseppe Verdi's wife, to Camille Du Locle in September 1896, revealing to the impresario of the Opéra de Paris the secrets of that "saffron risotto" which was one of the the great maestro's favourite dishes.

This is the same recipe that the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium is now offering on the occasion of events related to the Verdi Bicentenary.  In fact, on Saturday, 20th July, as part of the concert "Echi Notturni di Incanti Verdiani - Nocturnal Echoes of Verdian Enchantment", performed in front of the birthplace of the Maestro at Roncole Verdi, and put on by the town of Busseto and the Ravenna Festival in collaboration with the state television network RAI1, the Consortium will distribute to all the members of the audience a brochure which contains the letter – with many a recipe – sent to Du Locle by Giuseppina Strepponi.

But it doesn't end there: the same brochure will provide instructions (also via QR Code) that allow direct access to another video-recipe linked to the Maestro and featured on the Consortium's website (www.parmigianoreggiano.it): this is the "Risotto alla Giuseppe Verdi" which the French chef Henry-Paul Pellatrat dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi, knowing of his love for risotto.

In the video, the recipe is illustrated and made by the chef Massimo Spigaroli in the kitchens of the Antica Corte Pallavicina of Polesine Parmense. 'A tribute,' explains Riccardo Deserti, director of the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, 'which supports the entire programme of events being put on by the town of Busseto on the occasion of the bicentenary of Verdi's birth – to the great maestro and his genius, but also to his fondness for local traditions and products, and, at the same time, to a territory that has been able to defend well and make the most of these traditions, including that "Risotto alla Giuseppe Verdi" (which among other things includes the use of more typical products from Parma, such as ham and tomato) which is still to be found on typical menus of the Parma Lowlands.' 'Through the use of internet and the Consortium's Facebook pages,' Deserti concludes, 'we aim to interest hundreds of thousands of consumers in these same values.'