To celebrate “DOP Italia Australia” –a partnership program between The Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Australia (ICCI), the Best Restaurant team attended a rather educational press conference this week in Melbourne.
Yet as tanned Italians in fitted suits filed into to William Angliss’ Occaisions restaurant, clearly running on European time, it became quickly obvious that this was no usual press conference. The suited consortium gave italophiles and foodies alike an opportunity to sample the fruits of their nation’s regional labours, while offering a small lesson on production technique and tradition.
Through the help of a translator, and some very elaborate hand gestures, we learnt that Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP), or for those without an Italian tongue, Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), is a seal attributed to foods classically produced in various regions of Italy, and one which is synonymous with quality and genuine products.
From the south of Italy, we tasted crispy wood-fired bread from Altamura and hand-picked, delicate table olives and olive oil from Cerignola, while the North showcased creamy buffalo milk mozzarella, formed into perfect oversized balls from Campana. The only thing missing after all this food was a good glass of Italian wine to wash it all down.