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The Food Museums of Parma

unique experience for all feelings and tastes

FOREWORD

  • Parma proudly boasts some of the highest quality food products renowned at both national and international level: ParmigianoReggiano, Prosciutto di Parma and various cured pork meat products such as the Culatello from Zibello, Salame from Felino, Coppa, as well as Wines from the Parma hills, Porcini mushrooms from the Taro river valley, Tomatoes. Other products are well known at a purely local level.
  • Food and Wine tourism is in rapid expansion both in terms of quantity and quality at a national and international level. It is not by chance that the cultural and tourist press dedicate growing attention to this sector, particularly where the offer is clearly defined. Both regionally and internationally there is increasing publicity for “Food and Wine Trails”, “Flavour Trails”, and “Wine Trails”, …
  • The typical products enhance the image of an entire territory.
  • Parma is the corporate headquarters for a number of prestigious food companies such as, for example, Barilla, Parmalat and canning industries, as well as the safeguarding entities for typical products like the Consortium for Prosciutto, the Consortium for ParmigianoReggiano and the Consortium for Culatello. The entire Parma economy is positively affected by the growth of the food sector

OBJECTIVES

  • The “Food Museums” not only give added value to the ‘story’ behind the individual products, to the local economy and culture, they will also encourage the setting up of a new tourist product, developing existing tourist sites alongside the food and wine trails; these will then complement the classical tourist offer in the area.
  • The Museums will contribute to enhance the importance of existing Parma typical food production sites, with particular emphasis on those which, because of their history, production process and quality are best suited for inclusion in tourism offers. Such offers will interact with the Museums themselves, with programmed events and with the food and wine trails.
  • The Museums will add value to the entire territory through the gastronomical culture, both encourging growth and awareness amongst local residents, in particular young people, as well as defining the image of the individual typical product and its area and gastronomic tourism.

FOCUS

Following an in-depth preliminary study, the specific nature of each museum has emerged in order that it may communicate knowledge of the production process of the three key products of the Parma food sector: ParmigianoReggiano, Prosciutto and cured pork meat products, Tomatoes.

Because of their unique nature the exhibition lay-out in each museum must:

  • be particularly attractive and emotionally involve the visitor
  • narrate a story and not only show ‘things’
  • allow for tasting and purchase of products and related merchandising

Furthermore, the location of the museums throughout the territory will require access to economic, organisational and human resources to be defined together with local public institutions, associations and volunteer groups, thus optimising the role of promotion and co-ordination typical of the Provincial Administration.

History of the project

Albino Ivardi Ganapini

The Culture of typical products and the territory: these are the key factors of the “Food Museums” project initiated by the Provincial Administration of Parma and co-ordinated by the Councillors for Productive Activities and Tourism. Created after a careful preliminary study begun in 1999, the museums are now organised in a Cultural Association.

Parma, the Italian Food Valley, is proud of its excellent typical products, fruit of the traditions and experience of many centuries which have produced these champions of gastronomic quality. Such wealth should be appreciated, not only at the dining table but also from a historical, cultural and tourism point of view. In this way the idea of planning and realising a network of musums, strategically located throughout the territory dedicated to telling the ‘story’ of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, typical Salumi or cured meats – Prosciutto, Culatello, Salame, Spalla, Coppa – and Tomatoes which, originally from America, have found in Parma an ideal environment for cultivation and processing.

The close link with the territory is a strategic factor of the project; it is, in fact, one of the particular characteristics which render the product unique, and represents a significant factor in the promotion and enhancement of touris

The Food Museums thus form a natural complement to the Food and Wine Trails launched by the Provincial Administration and further enrich areas with important historical and artistic features: the Museum of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is housed in the historical XIX century cheese plant next to the grounds of the fortified Castle of the Meli-Lupi family, in an area rich in castles and associations with Maestro Giuseppe Verdi.

The Museum of Typical Cured Meat Products is located in Langhirano in the former cattle market, an area strongly characterized by the processing and maturing of pork meat products.

The Tomato Museum is housed in Giarola, in the municipality of Collecchio, in a monumental Benedictine agricultural ‘court’, dedicated from time immemorial to agricultural production, cattle breeding and, more recently, to the industrial processing of tomatoes.

The Felino Salami Museum was founded in Felino and realized in the magnificent rooms of the eighteenth century cellars of the Castle and is divided into 5 sections which not only focus on the essence of salami, the raw materials that compose it and its processing, but also on the story of the beautiful territory in which it is produced.

The suggestive cellars of the Rocca of Sala Baganza become the venue of the Museum of Wine, an expositive and sensorial journey completely dedicated to the wine of Parma, to its history and its culture.

The Pasta Museum, set up in the agricultural medieval court of Giarola, completes the deepening journey through the most important food products in the territory. The Museum share space with the Tomato Museum.