Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium collaborates with Chef Mohamad Orfali
Dubai, UAE; 11 November 2021: Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium joined with Chef Mohamad Orfali to present a delicious range of Arabic dishes, featuring Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, at a bespoke event at ORFALI BROS academy and restaurant based in Dubai.
The curated menu featured traditional Arabic delights that Chef Orfali cooked in Parmigiano Reggiano. These included:
- Root of My Backyard Forest: Greek yogurt, walnut & Parmigiano Reggiano Muhammara topped with Caramelized carrot, nasturtium, and Ash powder
- Freekeh & Lamb Chops: 24 months Parmigiano Reggiano freekeh risotto, nuts, fresh truffle
- Mont Blanc Tabbouleh: Kale tabbouleh served with bulgur, tomatoes and chives dressing topped with Parmigiano Reggiano
- Mushroom Kibbeh: Fried Kibbeh balls stuffed with wild mushrooms and Parmigiano Reggiano
- Burnt Leeks & Truffle Pide: Sourdough crust, brown butter, hazelnuts, 36 months Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh truffle
- ORF Baklava: Layers of crispy phyllo pastry served with 36 months Parmigiano Reggiano and Aleppo Pistachio
The event was organized to showcase the versatility of the King of Cheese and how authentic Parmigiano Reggiano is different from ordinary parmesan cheeses. At the event, guests were able to experience the unique and distinctive taste of Parmigiano Reggiano, learn about its health benefits, and gain insights into its integral role in Italian cuisine and culture. One of the oldest and richest cheeses in the world, Parmigiano Reggiano is produced today essentially as it was 900 years ago: using the same ingredients (milk, salt and rennet), with the same craftsmanship and technique that has undergone few changes over the centuries. Following very specific specifications of temperature control and aging variables, Parmigiano Reggiano must be produced in the area of origin which includes the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and parts of Mantua and Bologna. From these deep roots in a protected and respected environment come the unique qualities that make Parmigiano Reggiano a true masterpiece of Italian cuisine.
Fabrizio Raimondi, Press Officer, Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, said: “We work with Chefs across the world to create “local” interpretation for their dishes using Parmigiano Reggiano. This has given rise to some delicious fusion recipes and incredible pairings. Chef Orfali is well known for his contemporary Arabic cuisine and we are delighted to collaborate with him to create an Arabic culinary experience with a touch of Parmigiano Reggiano. His cooking style is similar to Italian culinary tradition which emphasizes the use of natural ingredients, exceptional quality, and simplicity. Chef Orfali successfully presented how Parmigiano Reggiano can be deftly used in Arabic cuisine to create a new dimension of exceptional taste. The key to Parmigiano Reggiano’s success is its versatility, as it can be used in the kitchen beyond just “sprinkling” on dishes, but also to give a touch of personality to meat, fish, vegetables, and even desserts.”
Chef Orfali used different maturations of the cheese – 18 months, 24 months and 36 months- to create his curated menu. While the minimum maturation period for Parmigiano Reggiano is 12 months, there is no maximum maturation period established by its production specifications. During maturation, thanks to the action of the enzymes released by lactic bacteria, proteins are broken down into smaller pieces, free peptides, and amino acids, which are the basic bricks of the protein chain. This protein breakdown (proteolysis) determines Parmigiano Reggiano’s structure and sensory properties as well as its digestibility.