To kick off The Culinary Project Assi nella Manica campaign for 2017, we held an inspiring launch party at Brand Exchange, London, to celebrate The Perfect Italian Pair, Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O. & Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena P.D.O.
With music from the Emilia Romagna region in Italy playing in the background, guests were welcomed in with a glass of Prosecco and not long after, headed upstairs to begin the night.
Director of Dialogue Agency, Cherry Haigh, started the event by introducing the special guests: Director of the Consortium of Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O., Riccardo Desserti, as well as the Mario Gambigliani Zoccoli, President of the Consortium of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena P.D.O.
The host for the tasting was Charles Michel, a professional chef and food scientist. Having trained in the Italian Michelin-starred restaurant Dal Pescatore and conducted academic research on food aesthetics at Oxford University, Charles was able to describe the role of the senses in modulating flavour perception and help attendees recognise the various flavours of the different ages of both Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O. and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena P.D.O.
Charles spoke about his personal connection with the two products, the artistry of flavour and his academic research. He described the difference between flavour and taste, and helped attendees understand there are many components to taste because it incorporates all the senses. Guests were first given a tiny pinch of umami powder to taste so they could later recognise it in the 18 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano. While tasting the 18 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano, guests first tried it while closing their nose. Then they opened their nostrils to incorporate smell into the tasting. Through this test they could fully appreciate how taste and smell work together.
While guests cleansed their palates, the President of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena P.D.O., Mario Gambigliani Zoccoli, gave a presentation on the production and history of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena P.D.O. He shared how the tradition of producing balsamico has been passed down through his family over generations, and now he is passing it on to his son.
After Mario finished his presentation, it was exciting to taste the 25 year old Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena P.D.O. from a porcelain teaspoon. We could now appreciate the balance of flavour after understanding the production process.
Next, the Director of Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O., Riccardo Deserti, talked about the importance of the Consortium in protecting the production process, and ensuring a high-quality product for consumers. He then discussed the time, the effort and the craft that goes into producing one wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O. After Riccardo finished his presentation, attendees were provided with 24 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O. to taste. Guests noted they could taste the difference in flavour compared to the 18 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O.
Attendees were then asked to pour a teaspoon of the 25 year old Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena P.D.O. onto a chunk of the 24 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O. to taste together. Charles and Mario explained the reasoning for pairing the 25 year old Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena P.D.O. with the 24 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O. and why its best to pair the 12 year old Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena P.D.O. with the 30 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O.
Charles then walked guests through a tasting of the 12 year old Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena P.D.O. and a tasting of the 30 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O. Attendees then tasted both products together, enjoying the delicious flavours of the perfect Italian pair.
After teaching our taste buds and enjoying The Perfect Italian Pair, guests went back to the bar to sip on drinks and discuss the truly fantastic flavours theyd experienced throughout the evening.