Understanding True Italian Taste
Story and video shot prior to our current COVID-19 lockdown. We hope you enjoy this master class and look forward to future classes soon enough if we continue to self-isolate.
On a mission to teach Ontarians about authentic Italian products, the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario (ICCO) hosted a master class as part of the True Italian Taste program on Feb. 19, from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. The class tested some of Canada’s most well-known and knowledgeable food writers on terms such as “DOP” and “IGP,” and on traceability and recognizing authentic Italian products in grocery stores. This also incorporated knowing the difference between the wording on labels such as “Made in Italy” versus “Product of Italy.”
City Life was also on location at the Faema Canada Showroom, with cameras rolling to capture the ICCO’s master class. Chef Roberto Fracchioni, Canadian brand ambassador for Prosciutto di Parma, professor and food consultant, introduced himself at the event, saying, “Hello, City Life. I’m Roberto Fracchioni. Today, we’re doing an event with the Italian Chamber of Commerce. We’ll be discussing the IGP and DOP products, as well as the Made in Italy program.”
Fracchioni went on to explain that “the quality of true Italian products has centuries of history and tradition of honing the craft. That quality can only come from generations of people working with the product. DOP ensures the product is sourced, manufactured and packaged in a very specific region of Italy, and IGP is another acronym that’s used for products involved that have at least one step of the process in a regional area.”
The master class was complemented with a three-course lunch, including antipasto (Prosciutto di Parma, bruschetta, Grana Padano and focaccia), risotto with three cheeses (Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Toscano and Gorgonzola DOP) and dessert (shaved Abate pears, Piave cheese, IGP Hazelnuts of Piedmont and Aceto Balsamico di Modena). These products are part of the basis of the Mediterranean diet, which dietitians and physicians highly recommend.
“The True Italian Taste program is teaching Canadians how to identify bona fide, original, Italian products through learning how to identify DOP, IGP and DOC certifications on labels. Buying traceable Italian food is as simple as that. Look for the label,” says Tiziana Tedesco, deputy director, Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario. “This particular master class saw the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario work with local and national media and food experts. We went deeper with this one, showing them how to literally read the side of a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano, to tell where it was processed and how long it was aged, for example,” says Tedesco. “There is a lot of interest in this type of learning here in Ontario. We encourage people to get in touch with us to learn about our exclusive events and upcoming tastings.”