- Parma proudly boasts some of the highest quality food products renowned at both national and international level: ParmigianoReggiano, Prosciutto of 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 dedicates 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 hosts the corporate headquarters of a number of prestigious food companies such as Barilla, Parmalat and canning industries. It is home to various Italian Consortiums for the Safeguard of Typical products, like the Consortium for Prosciutto, the Consortium for Parmigiano Reggiano and the Consortium for Culatello. The economical situation of Parma is positively affected by the growth of the food sector
In addition to bringing additional value to the history behind individual products within the local economy and culture, the “Food Museums” encourage the growth of a new type of tourism, by developing existing sites located along the food and wine trails; in turn, these become complementary to other typical tourist routes in the area.
The Museums contribute to highlight the role of yjr production sites of the typical foods of Parma, and especially those that in virtue of their history, the type of processing and the quality of products are best suited to be included as part of the tourist offer of the territory. Through programmed events and tours of the food and wine trails, these offers interact directly with the Museums.
A mission of the Museums is to contribute to the growth of the entire territory through gastronomical culture, by encourging awareness among local residents, and in particular young people. At the same time, the Museums aim is to define the image of each single typical product and its area of production through gastronomic tourism.
The specific nature and mission of each museum has emerged from in-depth preliminary studies. This was done in order to effectively communicate the know-how related to the production processes of three key products of the food sector of Parma: Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto and other cold cut products, and Tomatoes.
Because of their unique nature, the exhibition path in each museum features:
- great attractive and emotional involvement of visitors
- narration of a story and not just a display of ‘things’
- the possibility to taste and purchase the products and related merchandise
Moreover, their diffusion on the territory is aided by economical, organizational and human resources that are defined in accord with the local institutions, associations and no-profit organizations, thus optimizing the role of proomotion and coordination that is a prerogative of the Provincial Administration.
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 that started in 1999, the museums are now organized as 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. Thus, the plan to create a network of musums strategically located throughout the territory was born whose mission is to narrate the ‘story’ of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, of typical cold cuts – Prosciutto, Culatello, Salame, Spalla, Coppa – and of tomato, originally from the American continent, that has found the ideal environment for cultivation and processing in Parma.
A strategic characteristic of this project is its close relationship to this territory. Indeed, this is an aspect that makes it a unique product that represents a significant factor in the promotion and enhancement of tourism in this area.
Thus, the Food Museums offer 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 hosted in the historical XIX century dairy factory located next to the grounds of the fortified Castle of the Meli-Lupi family and Maestro Giuseppe Verdi memoirs.
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.