Lights and Parmigiano: 90 years of culinary innovation and tradition in Paris

Lights and Parmigiano: 90 years of culinary innovation and tradition in Paris

Step into the heart of Paris and witness a celebration that honors the rich tradition and innovative spirit of Parmigiano Reggiano, a beacon of Italian culinary excellence.

In the heart of Paris, the City of Light, an event unfolded that was as much a testament to tradition as it was a beacon of innovation. On the evening of March 14, 2024, the historic Hôtel de Boisgelin, home to the Italian Embassy, was illuminated not just by its opulent chandeliers, but by the radiant legacy of one of Italy’s most esteemed treasures: Parmigiano Reggiano. The occasion was “90 Years into the Future,” a grand celebration marking the 90th anniversary of the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, an institution dedicated to the guardianship of this iconic cheese since its inception on July 27, 1934.

A Testament to Quality and Tradition

The Consortium, a unifying body for all producers of Parmigiano Reggiano, has long stood as a bastion of quality, authenticity, and tradition. It is a story that began in the Middle Ages, weaving through the fabric of time to present a product known for its unparalleled taste and nutritional value. The event in Paris was not just a commemoration but a declaration of the Consortium’s enduring commitment to excellence and its pivotal role in bringing together cultures through the universal language of food.

Celebrating Excellence

The celebration was graced by the presence of eleven dairy farms, distinguished as the crème de la crème in the 2023 Parmigiano Reggiano Palios, and awarded the prestigious “Casello d’Oro” accolade. Among the luminaries of the evening was Chef Massimo Bottura, whose Osteria Francescana has been a beacon of culinary innovation. Bottura, a fervent advocate for Parmigiano Reggiano, has often spoken of the cheese as the cornerstone of his gastronomic creations, embodying the essence of Italian heritage and the artistry of its makers.

This event also served as a bridge between Italy and France, underscoring the significant role Parmigiano Reggiano plays in French cuisine and beyond. With France being a crucial market for the cheese, the Consortium’s efforts to promote awareness among consumers and producers alike speak to a broader vision of cultural exchange and mutual appreciation.

Special Recognitions

Special recognition was given during the event: the Parmigiano Reggiano from Pieve Roffeno was awarded for its superior structure, while the cheese from Latteria Agricola Mogliese was lauded for its exceptional aromatic profile. These recognitions underscore the Consortium’s dedication to excellence and the diverse qualities that distinguish the best examples of Parmigiano Reggiano.

The winners of the 2023 Parmigiano Reggiano Palios include:

  • Brugnoli F.lli Società Agricola, winner of the Palio Città di Casina – Reggio Emilia.
  • Caseificio Sociale di Casola di Montefiorino, winner of the Palio di Pavullo nel Frignano – Modena.
  • Cooperativa Casearia Castelnovese, winner of the Palio GustiaMo - Modena.

A Timeless Bond Between Tradition and Innovation

The evening in Paris was more than a celebration; it was a reaffirmation of the timeless bond between tradition and innovation. Ambassador Emanuela D’Alessandro expressed her joy in hosting the event, highlighting the deep connection and appreciation between France and Italy, especially in the culinary domain. Nicola Bertinelli, president of the Consortium, reflected on the significance of the 90th anniversary and the pioneering spirit of the Consortium, underscoring the deep ties between Parmigiano Reggiano and its first European market, France.

As the City of Light shone brightly, it reflected the enduring brilliance of Parmigiano Reggiano, a symbol of Italian excellence that continues to inspire and unite across borders.

In the realm of Parmigiano Reggiano, every wheel tells a story of dedication, heritage, and the relentless pursuit of perfection. The Consortium’s stewardship ensures that this story—rooted in the past but ever-evolving—continues to be told, savored, and cherished for generations to come. As we look to the future, the legacy of Parmigiano Reggiano stands as a beacon of Italian elegance, culture, and culinary mastery, illuminating the path forward with the warm glow of tradition and the bright spark of innovation.