This week, a major campaign called “True Italian Taste” was launched in Sydney designed to educate Australian consumers about the importance of identifying and purchasing certified Italian produce over imitation or inferior products.
The project comprises tours, workshops, seminars and other events aimed at raising awareness, and protecting the reputation of authentic Italian produce under the banner of “Protected Designation of Origin”.
Many of us probably don’t realise how much the Italians have influenced our cooking. Our easy pasta dishes we make during the uni semester – Italian. Our cravings for Dominos after a big night on the town – Italian. Cute date nights at Gelatissimo – also Italian. It’s all around us. And while we make these delicious homey foods or order it at restaurants, we also might not realise just how much of it is fake news. By that, I mean the origins of the cheese, the wine, you name it.
As part of the project, the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sydney hosted a Masterclass which featured locally-based Michelin-star chef Luca Ciano, who has worked in some of the best restaurants in the world.
Luca showcased Parmigiano Reggiano, the undisputed “King of Cheeses” which dates back to 1254 when Benedictine monks made the cheese in Italy’s Parma-Reggio region as a way of extending the shelf life of milk.
The Masterclass was held at Sydney’s Fullerton Hotel where Luca outlined the sensory science of cheese-making by highlighting the aging and ripening processes of 18-month,
24-month and 36-month-old cheeses. A lot of hands went up for the 36-month-old cheese when Luca asked which was our favourite.
The event coincided with the global launch of Italian Cuisine Week 2020 and also featured the release of a new guidebook entitled “Cucina Italiana” listing almost 50 of the leading Italian restaurants in NSW and the ACT. I think it’s safe to say your next date night has been made a whole lot easier! You can download the book for free here.