Wisconsin found itself thrust into the midst of an international incident recently when an Italian academic claimed that the most authentic Parmesan cheese in the world wasn’t being made in its ancestral home of Parma, Italy, but rather here in America’s Dairyland.
Alberto Grandi, a professor of food history at the University of Parma, made this assertion, along with several other sensational statements regarding Italian cuisine, in an interview with the Financial Times, and they caused a Vesuvius-like eruption in the region.
He is known as a provocateur, so it may be wise to take his compliment with a grain of salt. Italians take great pride in their food, and much of their global identity is tied to it, so he knew it was an easy way to get hands all over Italy gesticulating wildly.
But if his goal was to raise his profile by having his comments picked up by major media outlets such as the Drink Wisconsinbly Week in Review, we’ll then mission accomplished, Alberto.
Even if he was simply trying to get a rise out of his countrymen by citing the superior quality of Wisconsin’s Parmesan, it’s still nice to be recognized as a viable contender for the crown. It just goes to show that with hard work, commitment, and a herd of top-flight cows behind you, anything is possible.