Last March 20th I was invited by Bradley Rickard to hold a seminar about Food and Wine Quality schemes in Europe during his class. Brad Rickard is the Ruth and William Morgan Associate Professor of Applied Economics and Management in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.
His teaching and research focus on the economic implications of policies, innovation, and industry-led initiatives in food and beverage markets.
During his course titled “Agricultural and Food Policy” which aims to review the major policies that apply to food and agricultural markets in the United States, and elsewhere, as well as to develop an understanding of the economic consequences of government involvement in food and agricultural markets, I brought my contribution on the European food market. Especially, I focused my presentation on the PDO and PGI products (Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographically Indications) as well as the consequences of not having this protection outside Europe.
At first, I had to explain what traditional food means and what Geographical Indications are. As ice-breaker, I just asked them to answer a short quiz: which figure represents the Italian product? (see image below) Then, I wanted to underline the strong relation with the gastronomy and culinary traditions (i.e., transmission of culinary knowledge between generations) and cooperation of individuals operating in one delimited territory. The students were very interested and understood the importance of the meaning and the role of PDO and PGIs food.
From theory to practice.
After the lecture, with the help of Martina Cirelli - food scientist MSc from the University of Parma- two samples of real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese were presented along with a Parmesan cheese, made in the U.S.A. Thanks to this special tasting, the students were able to identify the original flavor and understand better how these peculiar characteristics are due.
Afterward, also some drops of Aceto Tradizionale Balsamico di Modena DOP vinegar were served along with the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP. That’s the perfect end for a seminar about traditional food.