The Parmigiano Reggiano Prize to Le Gruyere Switzerland

The international prize has been assigned for the first time to another cheese for its action for the protection of designations of origin and the registration in the USA

Reggio Emilia, Italy, 26 October 2014 - Different in many respects, but allied in the battle for international protection of designations and, moreover, sharing the same characteristics of being all-natural and without silage in the cows' feeding. These are the reasons that have led to assign the “Premio Internazionale Parmigiano Reggiano" [Parmigiano-Reggiano International Prize] to “Le Gruyère Aop Switzerland”. This is a prize that the Consortium assigns to products that have a strong bond with their area of origin and stand out in the international scenario for their unique features and for their action for the overall promotion of the free movement of protected designation of origin products.

This is the first time in the history of the "Premio Internazionale Parmigiano-Reggiano" that the Prize goes to another cheese: in fact, in the previous editions, it was assigned to Cidre de Glace of Quebec (Canada), Café de Colombia, Argan Oil (Morocco), Kona Coffee of Hawaii (USA) and the distilled beverage Tequila, which is named after its Mexican town of origin. It is also the first time that this prize goes to a European product. The assignation of the prize – explains the Consortium – is linked to the important result achieved in 2013 by the Swiss cheese, i.e. the registration in the USA of the figurative certification mark “Le Gruyère Switzerland AOC“, which has been registered by the protection body that includes milk producers, dairies and retailers, the "Interprofession du Gruyère Registered Association Switzerland".

This result, in addition to its intrinsic value for the Gruyère supply chain – stresses the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Consortium - is very significant for the international outlook of geographical indications and, in particular, for Italian and EU designations of origin, in view of the bilateral negotiations with the USA currently under way (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - TTIP)”. “The objective of this shared battle – continues the Consortium – is to stamp out any and all imitations or evocations of our protected designations. This needs an amendment to the US legislation which is being strongly requested by the European Union”.

The prize was presented by the President of the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium, Giuseppe Alai, to Philippe Bardet, the Interprofessional Gruyèere Manager. The presentation of the prize was followed by the round table on the international protection of geographical indication products, with the participation of Ida Puzone of OriGIn, the world network of Geographical Indications headquartered in Geneva. 

At the "Salone del Gusto" in Turin, on Sunday, 26 October, the Consortium also presented the Parmigiano-Reggiano new recipe book "Cross Cooking". This recipe book is the result of the cooking competition “Parmigiano-Reggiano Chef”, which the Consortium launched and was opened to all chefs, food bloggers and cooking enthusiasts, who were invited to send international recipes enriched by the "King of Cheese" as an ingredient.  From among the over 290 recipes that were received, a jury of chefs members of the EuroToques association selected the 30 best ones that were included in the book.
During the presentation, Maria Elena Saracino of the "Se questo è un uovo" blog performed her cooking show preparing a Turkish-inspired dish: Baklava with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Starting from next week, the recipe book will be sold on the Consortium website, on the page shopacademy.parmigiano-reggiano.it