Saturday, July 13 2024

The original Parmigiano Reggiano cheese? Found only in Wisconsin.

Panettone and tiramisu were supposedly born in supermarkets, and carbonara was invented by Americans.

The lunge comes from a Financial Times article that takes its cue from a provocative interview with Alberto Grandi: an associate professor at the University of Parma, he teaches History of Business, History of European Integration and in 2018 published the book Denomination of Invented Origin, with the aim of debunking a number of myths about those much-talked-about dishes, even in the wake of Italian cuisine’s candidacy as a Unesco intangible heritage.


“They are creating an infamous climate against Italian products. By now, the attacks can no longer be counted: the Irish labels according to which wine seriously harms health, the Nutriscore that flunks typical and healthy productions such as olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano, the non-transparent authorizations to cricket flours and synthetic food… Now even a prestigious newspaper such as the Financial Times gives space and attention to the rants of an Italian professor in search of notoriety,” writes on social media the vice president of the Senate, Gian Marco Centinaio (Lega).

“Carbonara, panettone, Parmigiano Reggiano and other delicacies,” he continues, “are part of the Italian tradition.

“Attempts are being made to discredit our country and question the Italianness of iconic recipes and products, from carbonara to pizza, from panettone to Parmigiano Reggiano. Those who accuse us of ‘gastronationalism’ are perhaps just envious of our successes,” is echoed by Undersecretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry, Luigi D’Eramo

But Grandi doesn’t stand for it and doesn’t back down: “I don’t understand why many are attacking me since I don’t question the quality of Italian food or products, I reconstruct in a historical and philologically correct way the history of these dishes,” he says in the interview with la Repubblica after the controversy.

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