Schnuck Markets, Inc
Schnucks and Nancy Radke Crack the Code to Italian Cheese Traditions
On Saturday, March 31, the Schnucks Cheese Team invites you to take part in a ritual hundreds of years old honoring artisans of 400 northern Italian farming communities who work 365 days a year to create Parmigiano Reggiano® cheese. Nancy Radke, director of the U.S. Information Office for the Corsorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano, will teach cheese classes at Schnucks stores in Wildwood (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) and Des Peres (3:30 – 5:30 p.m.) during which she will ceremoniously crack open cheese wheels that have been aging for two years.
According to Schnucks Cheese Expert Charlie Scotino, classes are free of charge and Parmigiano Reggiano will be available at a discounted price for a limited time. “We are thrilled to have Ms. Radke with us and with her help we hope to share with our customers the story behind one of the world’s most unique cheeses,” Scotino said.
Radke has dedicated her career to the study of Italian culinary traditions. “I find the cracking of the wheel to be a spiritual thing; you are releasing the soul of the cheese which has aged for two years. Anyone within the room will be treated to an unbelievably beautiful burst of aroma that is divine and intoxicating – sometimes fruity and at other times grassy and nutty,” she said.
Radke’s love of cheese started 30 years ago while living in Italy and writing about her favorite Italian recipes. After nine years and several thousands of subscribers across the globe she began working for the Parmigiano Reggiano consortium and what is now one of the world’s most regulated cheeses. Today, Radke is considered an expert on Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products which are a part of the European Quality System for products made in certain historic and geographic regions under true artisan traditions.
“There are very specific areas of production. All materials must come from that area, and the product must be made according to rigorous standards that are written into law,” Radke said. “The law requires that these products must be completely traceable and supervised by an outside group that helps maintain the quality standards. When a product is completely traceable from field to fork there are assurances for consumers.”
Radke says with the rise of the local foods movement, she hopes consumers will come to consider PDO products as “local” because they reflect local farming and food production techniques. “By supporting the PDO producers, you are supporting historic farming communities,” she said. “I think we need to do that for each other in the world. We will, after all, be without chocolate and coffee if we don’t support those local farmers. Buy local – at home as well as from our global artisans.”
Nancy Radke is president of Good Food Creative, Inc., an international culinary consulting and marketing firm located in Syracuse, N.Y. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, The American Cheese Society and the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade. She holds a bachelor of fine arts in Interior Design from Syracuse University. Shortly after receiving her degree she moved to Italy where the sights and smells of the market propelled her into a lifelong entrepreneurial career in food creation, education, writing and marketing. Along with consulting work for other Italian food companies and EU sponsored programs, she is also a nationally known food stylist, recipe developer and co-author of Dinosaur Barbeque: An American Roadhouse, winner of the National Barbeque Association’s “Best Barbeque Book” of 2001.
Those interested in signing up for a class, should contact the cheese shop in either the Wildwood or Des Peres Schnucks stores to reserve a seat. Seats are limited and will be reserved on a first come-first served basis.
Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. operates 100 stores (including five Logli and seven Hilander stores) and 95 in-store pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. Follow Schnucks on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Schnucks.
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Saturday, March 31 - 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
16580 Manchester Road
Wildwood, Mo. 63040
Schnucks Des Peres
Saturday, March 31 - 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
12332 Manchester Road
Des Peres, Mo. 63131