Slow Food

The University Returns To The Land

Italy - 05 Apr 05

The teaching activities of the University of Gastronomic Sciences are continuing at a fast pace. The first semester has just finished, and the 70 students from 10 nations are now occupied with their theme study period (field seminar) on cheese. Divided into seven groups, the students will spend April 4-8 studying the production, refinement and ageing of typical cheeses in six Italian regions: Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria and Sardinia.

Cheeses of Piedmont
The students will spend a week at Occelli Agrinatura in Valcasotto, in the Alps near Mondovì, studying and exploring the production techniques of local cheeses, and visiting the byres where Brown Alpine cattle are raised. Accompanied by professional tasters, they will also sample the typical products of the region that go best with cheese.

In the Veneto the consortium for the protection of PDO Asiago cheese will organize a tour to leant about production processes. Lessons will be held by experts from the Istituto Zooprofilattico of the Veneto region, tasters from ONAF (the National Association of Cheese Tasters) and the staff of Veneto Agricoltura. The lessons will alternate with visits to local producers and farmers.

Grana Padano
The consortium for Grana Padano and the area around Mantua provide the ideal background for the discovery of one of the most famous Italian cheeses worldwide. University professors, nutritional experts and specialists from the consortium will guide the students on an educational journey through all the phases of Grana Padano production.

Parmigiano Reggiano
From the raising of cows to the marking of the forms, from the publicizing of the product to the fixing of the price, students will learn about all aspects of this world-famous cheese and how it maintains its high quality. The experience will be supplemented by lessons by farmers and experts from the Consortium for Parmigiano-Reggiano and by visits to affineurs.

Raviggiolo (Slow Food Presidium)
A cheese typical to the Forlì area, Raviggiolo is made from milk from Romagnola cattle raised in nearby Apennine pastures. Students will visit the byres and attend lessons on markets for and the environmental context of this, a product little known but of unquestionable value.

Cheeses of Umbria
Spoleto, Norcia, Torgiano and Poreta are just some of the towns that will host this study period on Umbrian cheeses. The trip will be broken up to cover many of the region’s products and thus provide the students with an overview of cheese production in Umbria.

Casizolu (Slow Food Presidium)
The GAL (Local Action group) Montiferru Barigadu Sinis, in Sardinia, will host this study period on a cheese produced on the local farms and by the Consortium for the Red Ox. The students will be accompanied by producers on trips to ageing cellars and also have a chance to take part in the production process.

For more information and the detailed stage program, please visit the University website

Paolo Enria and Paola Gasparotto,
Association of the Friends of the University of Gastronomic Sciences
Telephone: +39 0172 458 507, +39 0172 458 527