Reggio Emilia

Home of Parmigiano cheese seeks status from UNESCO

Italy's central Emilia region says it needs special protection

Home of Parmigiano cheese seeks status from UNESCO

Reggio Emilia, February 27 - The Italian region of Emilia, homeland of the world-renowned Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, is aiming to obtain recognition of its "Intangible World Heritage" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Culture organization (UNESCO). The UNESCO Club of Reggio Emilia, in collaboration with the Consortium of Parmigiano Reggiano, says it will present a new study Friday outlining what makes the region so special. Silvio Cari Gallingani, the club's curator, says the region has a unique distinctive, complex but also delicate balance of human, historical, cultural, and environmental factors that are "worthy of particular value and protection". Parmigiano Reggiano cheese has had the European Union's Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) status, which the consortium has fought to defend in European courts. UNESCO does take food and its origins into consideration for its intangible cultural heritage list. In 2010, UNESCO inscribed the Mediterranean diet on its intangible cultural heritage list at the request of Italy, Greece, Spain, and Morocco.

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