The three-year marketing campaign “Cheese – It’s Europe”, involving four Eastern European countries (Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary) continued this year with four more events, bringing Italian cheeses Gorgonzola PDO, Asiago PDO and Parmigiano Reggiano PDO to Warsaw, Prague, Budapest and Vienna.
The Excellence Tour stopped in Warsaw, at the prestigious Endorfina Foksal restaurant, where two Italian chefs who live in Poland – Marco Ghia e Cristina Catese – prepared a number of recipes using the 3 Italian PDO cheeses, winning the full attention of the journalists and bloggers who had been invited to attend, accompanied by Polish presenter Beata Sadowska.
The second event took place during the “Prague Food Festival”, at Prague’s Vysehrad park, from 25 through 27 May. 3 show cooking sessions were held during the first day of the festival, at the stall of the Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano and Asiago PDO cheeses, presented by chef Radek Hasman. Several tasting workshops were also held, involving visitors, press representatives and bloggers. The third event – presented by former Miss Austria 2007 and ORF TV channel presenter Christine Reiler – took place at the Julian Kutos Cooking School in Vienna and involved three different cooking stations, one for each cheese, and three chefs, who presented as many recipes using the Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano and Asiago PDO cheeses.
The fourth event, held in Budapest, at famous Restaurant Czako Kert, saw the three PDO cheeses as the central characters in a series of tasting sessions and recipes presented to Hungarian journalists, bloggers, importers, distributors and influencers and included the presentation of campaign “The taste of Dolce Vita”. Much appreciated were the pairings proposed, confirming the approval that Italian cheeses score among consumers. During the same weeks, the three Italian PDO cheeses were also promoted at the most important supermarket chains, with information desks and tasting sessions, using purposely-trained promotional hostesses.
Some data on Gorgonzola exports in the four countries in 2017: Poland consumed 545 tons of Gorgonzola and ranks 9th in the world in terms of consumption volumes. Here, interest in the Gorgonzola PDO cheese has grown hugely as against 10 years ago, with peaks of 300 %. Next comes Austria, which last year imported almost as many as 500 tons of Gorgonzola PDO, then comes the Czech Republic which consumed more than 230 tons and last comes Hungary which in 2017 imported little more than 100 tons, recording a massively growing interest in the Gorgonzola PDO cheese against 10 years ago, with peaks of 500%!
The “Cheese – It’s Europe” campaign, which started in 2015 and was promoted by the Gorgonzola Consortium, in cooperation with the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium and the Asiago Consortium, is co-financed by the European Commission and the Italian Government. The three consortia promoted the project with a view to increasing the popularity of PDO products, highlighting the importance of the EU protected designation of origin and quality control system on which the PDO supply chain is based.