Italian cheese, how much do we love them? The first edition of Formaticum, the market exhibition dedicated to the Italian cheese rarities kicked off in Rome on the weekend of 23 and 24 February 2019 at the Palazzo WeGil in Trastevere. The event was sponsored by the Lazio Region and conceived by La Pecora Nera, a publishing house that’s been active for sixteen years in the world of food and wine, and Vincenzo Mancino, an expert connoisseur of cheese production who’s committed to the enhancement and protection of small agricultural activities.
“The world of cheese is a vast and still little-known reality,” says Fernanda D’Arienzo of La Pecora Nera – and so are we, the specialized publishing house of the enogastronomic sector for some years now, besides the guides, we decided to organize monothematic events involving experts in the field. We started with an event on extra virgin olive oil, it is now the turn of the dairy sector. “
At Formaticum, there was a big presence of small cheese producers who come from different parts of Italy, highlighting their products which are recognized for their excellence.
It was a voyage of discovery and appreciation of the vast Italian dairy heritage.
“I focused on companies that produce a single type of milk; the majority part of them work with raw milk and represent very small Italian companies quality that is worth knowing and tasting,” says Vincenzo Mancino.
In addition to the tastings, in-depth seminars were held during the event
designed for both cheese connoisseurs and professionals. There were moments of
comparison, formation and debate, a rich and interesting program of events that saw the participation of industry experts thanks to the collaboration of ONAF, the National Organization of Cheese Tasters and Producers.
Roberto Molinari Special Award
On the last day of the event, a commission made up of national specialists chose the best participating producer who has stood out for the quality and tradition of the products. The winner was awarded the privilege to a reimbursement of the cost incurred for the purchase of the exhibition space. The organization of Formaticum has decided to establish this award in honor and to memory of Roberto Molinari, a young pastor who died prematurely in an accident while grazing his flock of goats in the highlands of Arcinazzo, in the province of Frosinone, a few kilometers from Rome.
The initiative stems from the need to turn the spotlight on one of the oldest works of humanity and reward the radical choices of young shepherds who choose to work with nature. These young people are guided by strong passion, who choose this practice in protecting endangered breeds, such as Marzia, Roberto’s sister, a young woman who left the city to continue the traditional roots of the family and not permit it fall into oblivion.