That's right, I'm a Parmesan ,but by that I don't mean that I'm a big hunk of cheese. What I mean is that I was born and raised in Parma, Italy and every citizen of Parma is called a Parmigiano, a "Parmesan".
A couple of weeks ago, I was honored and more than happy to have been asked to make a video endorsing Parma's candidacy for UNESCO 'City of Creative Gastronomy' prestigious honor.
I've been living in the States for more than twenty years now but Parma is forever etched in my heart so I asked my son Rocco to film me in front of the Santa Monica Pier in a sunny early December afternoon. In the video I praise my hometown unique's flavors and foods for a couple of minutes.
Not surprisingly Parma won. It wasn't my video, nor the one my friend actor Charles Shaughnessy so graciously made or the beautiful video produced by the city of Parma itself with testimonies from the greatest chefs in town. No, Parma won because it deserves it.
Parma is a unique city. Medium sized, rich economically and rich of history. It's beautiful and charming, a little jewel sitting in the heart of the Po's river's valley.
But what makes it unique, it's that everything in Parma revolve around the greatest food in the world! I know , I know....but let me brag a little, after all even Forbes magazine calls Parma "Italy's Greatest Gastronomic Treasure".
What makes Parma food so special? The ingredients. The food in Parma is so incredible because they have figured out how to enhance the unique ingredients they use to a level where it would be frivolous to think that someone else, somewhere else can improve upon them.
What are the recipes and the ingredients?
I'm sure you know about the king of all cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano and you haven't really lived if you never tasted the sweet and savory flavor of real Prosciutto Di Parma.
I'm not going to list all the other ingredients and recipes since Parma is much, much more than just Prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano.
I'm afraid that, if you want to discover the greatest culinary treasure in the world you'll have to go there in person: trust me, you will be happy you've done that!
Congratulations Parma for the well deserved honor and I'll see you very soon.