Canadian Packaging

Canadians reveal top comfort foods to cope with winter lockdown

November 9, 2020   by Maverick

Parmigiano Reggiano survey: As second COVID wave/winter comes, how will you seek out warmth?

TORONTO, November 9, 2020 – A new survey of Canadians has all the ingredients to offer possible successors to 2020s sourdough social craze. The Culinary Comfort Lockdown List, a new survey of 1,500 Canadians by Italy’s Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, found that soups were the number one winter survival food through for uncertain and chilly times.

Respondents answered the question: as a second wave of COVID unfolds and with fall/winter approaching, which foods will you seek out for comfort?

Here were the top findings:

  • Soups were the number one choice of Canadians, as two-thirds (65%) chose this time-honoured tradition as their go to winter wellbeing meal. Women (at 72%) were much more likely than men (57%) to choose soup to provide ease and comfort
  • Spaghetti and meatballs came in next. Nearly half of respondents (46%) chose the Italian American innovation, which also has its roots in culinary traditions in the Abruzzo region of Southern Italy
  • Casseroles and chili came in third (tied at 43%) on the lockdown list. Again women (at 49%) were much more likely than men (37%) to choose casseroles for a savoury solution to the deep dark winter
  • Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (42%) and other melted cheese dishes (40%) rounded out the Culinary Comfort Lockdown List

“With only three ingredients (milk, salt and rennet) Parmigiano Reggiano is the ultimate, versatile cheese,” said Nicola Bertinelli, president of Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano. “It can be grated into your favourite soup; melted into one-pot dishes and sandwiches or shaved onto both classic and modern pizza and pasta dishes. An interesting fact, if you save the rinds, they act as magic flavor bombs for your soup dishes.”

What food do you most associate with Italy?

Known for its stunning simplicity, Italian food is cherished, copied and reinvented worldwide. With comfort firmly in mind, Canadians were asked the question: what food do you most associate with Italy?  Here were the top findings:

  • Pasta led the way, with more than half of respondents (54%) choosing the staple. Considering how pasta was so in demand and helped Canadians during the first wave of COVID, this is not surprising
  • Parmigiano Reggiano and pizza, two undeniably loved and inexorably linked Italian foods, were tied in second place for foods people most associate with Italy.
  • Dessert standards Gelato (11%) and Tiramisu (5%) rounded out the list.

Protecting Italy’s famous foods

“Like many of the Italy’s famous foods, Parmigiano Reggiano is given Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) status,” said Bertinelli. “Parmigiano Reggiano must come from one of five regions in Italy, including Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and a small part of the provinces of Bologna and Mantua. It has been made for almost 10 centuries from cows fed mainly with fresh local grass and hay and has to be properly aged for a minimum of 12 months. Look for the oval certification mark on the wheel and the Parmigiano Reggiano dots engraved on the rind.”

Recent export numbers from The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium show Canada leads the world in its passion for Parmigiano Reggiano. In the first half of 2020, exports to Canada boomed with a staggering 153.9 per cent increase, leading all other regions including Netherlands (+31.6%), Belgium (+31.3%), Germany (+16%), United Kingdom (+15.2%), France (+7.2%), China (+37,2%) and Norway (+35.8%).

About the Culinary Comfort Lockdown List
From October 8 to October 9, 2020 an online survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,500 Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, the sample plan would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium

The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium is the protection body that includes all Parmigiano Reggiano producers, who process the milk from the farmers of the area of origin into this PDO cheese complying with the Specifications. It was set up in 1934 and has the purpose of protecting, defending and promoting the product, safeguarding its typicality and disseminating its knowledge worldwide. Every wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano is given a mark of origin (the well-known “dots” and starting from 2002 also a “casein plate”). Furthermore, every wheel is quality tested at an age of about 12 months. Only if the wheel passes this test, it is branded with the selection mark (oval mark). The certification of conformity with the Specifications is given by the P-R Quality Control Body on behalf of the European Union and the Ministry.

The Consortium represents all the producers at the most important institutional tables with the aim of protecting their interests. The Consortium also deals with the fight against Italian Sounding, focusing on the need to have greater protection of the PDO outside the European Union.


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