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ALMA Caseus: the contest that promotes Italian cheese

The heritage of Italian cheeses is made up of more than 500 product types – a variety that is unique in the world and also constitutes one of Italy’s top food products. However, the abundance of cheeses produced in Italy is not well known enough and is one of the reasons that was behind the idea to hold a contest dedicated to cheeses – ALMA Caseus.

The winners of this year’s contest, which is in its fifth year, were selected from more than 500 cheeses and almost 100 producers and were awarded in the Giuseppe Verdi Room at CIBUS on May 9. Alex Desco and Emanuele Boaglio from Saluzzo won the professional category, and Stefania Moroni and Florinda Fontana from the Einstein Institute in Loreto were the winners of the junior category.

The contest is sponsored by both the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies and the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research and consists of three categories: “professionals”, “juniors” and “cheeses”. The first category consists of professionals involved in activities related to the cheese industry (producers, maturers, refiners, distributors, buyers, dealers, restaurateurs, teachers, etc.) who are tested on their ability and their dairy knowledge. Teams of school children who attend hotel schools or institutes for dairy products compete in the second category in which they are tested according to their level of preparation. Finally, the third category sees cheeses competing from all over Italy; they are divided into groups in which they are then compared and examined.

The contest took place at ALMA, the International School of Italian Cuisine run by Gualtiero Marchesi, in Colorno, Parma, on May 9 2016, and the award ceremony was held the same day at Fiere Parma at the 18th International Food Exhibition CIBUS.