Parmigiano Reggiano Academy – Eataly Chicago

Last week I attended a very fun, educational and delicious cheese tasting event entitled Parmigiano Reggiano Academy.  It took place at La Scuola at Eataly Chicago.

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The Consorzio Parmigiano Reggiano is celebrating its 80th anniversary of being the official entity which is dedicated to regulating that the ingredients and quality of the cheese emanating from the Emilia-Romagna area meet the standards of the Italian cheese masters in that geographic region, such that they are distinguished from imitations all over the world.  To celebrate this incredible milestone, this quality control and marketing board is offering both live and on-line classes in the art of cheese tasting.

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Official seal and branding of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Official seal and branding of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Although I attended this event at Eataly Chicago solo, I met up with a few other Chicago Food Bloggers with whom I was already acquainted, as well as some very nice and interesting media and food industry people who I got to know and enjoy during this sensory analysis cheese party.  It sounded like it would be a great time and it was.  After all, I love cheese!  I’m an Italian American.  Hey, my mother’s family came over from Parma, Italy.  All the stars were aligned!

The focus of the Parmigiano Reggiano Academy is to have the participants learn the differences between PARMIGIANO REGGIANO® cheeses which have been aged 14 months, 24 months and 36 months, respectively.  We examined the color and texture of each particular PARMIGIANO REGGIANO cheese sample.  We broke them in half and inhaled in their individual scents.  Then, finally, we tasted them in order to identify the different sweet, salty, bitter and sour notes of each age of cheese.

Sensory analysis class in session!

Sensory analysis class in session!

14-month Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

14-month Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

In addition to the sensory analysis lesson, we enjoyed 3 fabulous wines and a beer which were selected to pair well with the 3 differently aged PARMIGIANO REGGIANO cheeses, as well as the array of salumi, wine soaked figs and other tasty hors d’oeuvres served up by Eataly’s Chef Adam Weisell.

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Wine-soaked figs

Wine-soaked figs

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Salumi

Salumi

Parmigiano Reggiano Frico with Potatoes & Scallions

Parmigiano Reggiano Frico with Potatoes & Scallions

Grilled Pear with basil, almonds and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano (on the left)

Grilled Pear with basil, almonds and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano (on the left)

Fried gnocco with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and lard (bottom left on plate)

Fried gnocco with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and lard (bottom left on plate)

Parmigiano Reggiano flan with zucchini and mint relish

Parmigiano Reggiano flan with zucchini and mint relish

Roasted butternut squash polenta with Parmigiano Reggiano zabaglione and sage

Roasted butternut squash polenta with Parmigiano Reggiano zabaglione and sage

For more information about the online Parmigiano Reggiano Academy Tutorial visit http://www.parmigianoreggiano.com/taste/academy/default.aspx.

For the calendar of upcoming live Parmigiano Reggiano Academy classes in the U.S. contact Nancy Radke, Director U.S. Information Office, Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano at nradke@parmigiano-reggiano.com.

Mangia!

ROAM. REVEL. REPEAT.

Labeled: Culture & Community · Food & Libations · Travel