FormaggItalia (From 27th until 29th of October in Palazzo delle Stelline in Milano (Italy) is the place to be if you are interested in the Italian cheese industry.
We had an exclusive interview with Mr Lamberto Rubini, organizer of the exhibition in Milano.
When is the exhibition exactly? Is it the first edition ?
FormaggItalia opens on Friday October the 27th and will continue through Sunday the 29th. Three days fully dedicated to the Italian World of Cheese. Yes, it is the first not only for FormaggItalia but it is the première for the city of Milan as well.
How many exhibitors do you have ? Are they all exclusively Italian?
We’ll have more than 40 exhibitors coming exclusively from Italy: from the Alps down to Sicily, providing our visitors with a wide representation of the Italian cheese production and unmatched variety.
Can You tell us something more about ONAF and Your collaboration with them?
ONAF is a national organization interested in extending the Italian cheese culture throughout the Italian territory and possibly abroad as well. ONAF is structured with more than 40 local offices in order to be close to the local cheese manufacturers recognized for their craftsmanship. During the fair, ONAF will organize many guided tastings, presenting various cheese and creating palatable and original flavors through a blend of honey, marmelades, mustards and wines so as to give visitors the chance to experience sensorial and taste refinement at its best
Do we find cheese producers all over Italy ? Or only in certain parts of Italy ?
From the North to the South, from East to West. Italy, unlike other countries, has more than 500 different cheeses and this is the first edition. However we are considering a collection of around 200 cheeses.
When visiting can we taste each and every cheese ?
Indeed you may. The only barrier we decided to raise is the payment of a ticket of only 8 € for an adult, but we are sure that this will not hinder attendance whereas it will likely restrain the “week end eaters” giving more space and attention to those people who are sincerely interested in our products and this initiative.
One of your keywords is “cheese artisans” ?
Yes. Artisans means made according to the history, the experience and even the secret of ancient works. Just to give you an example, in Italy we have cheeses which are made using the same processes as 400 years ago as in the case of Castelmagno, Salva and Pannerone.
What makes Italian cheese so different from other’s like French or Swiss cheese products?
Europe has excellent cheeses and it’s impossible to say which are the best. However a primary difference is the very wide gamma, going from soft cheeses like Gorgonzola to hard ones like Parmigiano up to “filate pasta” like Mozzarella. Take any of the Italian Regions and you will find hundreds of cheeses, and each of them is different from the ones in the other regions.
Who is attending this fair ? Only professionals ?
Professionals are welcome every morning from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Visitors from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Which is the most sold cheese in Italy ?
The match is between Parmigiano and Grana which is awarded as the most produced.
When will this exhibition be a success ? What is the particular goal of the organizers?
As I always say, we are now working on the second edition. We expect success and we work towards that. My entire team is deeply focused on that goal including many professional visitors from the industry, a lot of public attendees, high sales and a lot of satisfaction from our exhibitors. As usual we’ll make our balance on Sunday night hoping to close the fair with many reservations already in our hands for the 2018 edition.