Finding True Italian Taste In Canada​

The Italian Chamber of Commerce Ontario Canada (ICCO Canada) aims to raise the profile of truly authentic Italian products.

With the True Italian Taste project, we tell the world about the precious links between food and the territories of origin, as well as the quality and health benefits of agri-foods created slowly.

We help foodies choose the best ingredients by making it simple to identify 100% made-in-Italy products. We work with Italian certified companies to broaden the reach of True Italian Taste.

Join us on our journey through Italy’s most notable food regions. We’ll be taking time to explore under-the-radar ones too. Discover traditional techniques, ingredients and recipes part of Italy’s rich food heritage.

True Italian Taste is supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Association of Italian Chambers Commerce Abroad (Assocamerestero).

It brings together 81 Italian Chambers of Commerce from around the globe — throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. The program involves 36 Italian Chambers of Commerce Abroad in 23 countries.

What is True Italian Taste?

In 2016, True Italian Taste launched in North America, quickly becoming the key reference point for Italian agri-food exports in Europe, South America, Asia and Australia in the years following.

As a part of The Extraordinary Italian Taste program, Assocamerestero works in tandem with the Italian Chambers of Commerce Abroad to strengthen the value of and protect authentic Italian products.

Italy is known for excellencies in food production – and with True Italian Taste, we intend to spread greater knowledge of the places of origin and the nutritional benefits of DOP, IGP and DOC certification aspects. We seek to inform consumers about the qualities of 100% made-in-Italy food.

ICCO Canada continues to educate Canadians about how to identify authentic Italian products and make informed decisions. We are rewarded by seeing Canadians enjoy the unparalleled quality of genuine Italian goods.

Through virtual events with local and Italian chefs, the Authentic Italian Table dinner series, tasting events, masterclasses, educational tours, buyer trips, and virtual B2B meetings, ICCO Canada creates awareness about the value of traceability, quality control and Italian food certifications.

To further showcase genuine Italian goods, we created a six-part video series as a part of True Italian Taste called Ci vediamo in Camera. The series dives deep into the topic with insiders, experts, opinion leaders and industry people, discussing the agri-food business, key sector issues and regional products.

The Italian Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Economic Development, Assocamerestero and ICCO Canada are fiercely dedicated to the protection and promotion of authentic Italian goods. Buon appetito!

ICCO Canada Director Corrado Paina

ICCO Canada strives to guide Canadians towards experiencing the abundance of regional Italian products. We invite you to discover True Italian Taste through our events, activities, and now, Buonissimo, our blog and shopping guide. Peruse these pages to discover people, products and places where you can experience the best that Italy has to offer, right here in Canada. Take a stroll down memory lane with us and scroll down to explore our past activities. Reach out to us if you have a special product, project or initiative that fits in with this mandate and join our community. We thank all of you for being part of this truly Extraordinary Italian Taste Project.

Corrado Paina

executive director, Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario Canada

SPRING 2022
NEUROMARKETING

The Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario Canada (ICCO Canada), with the support of Ernst & Young Design Studio, conducted research project on the perception of Made in Italy food products in different countries around the world.  

SPRING 2022
AUTHENTIC ITALIAN TABLE
Authentic Italian Table

The event took place at the Faema Canada Showroom and was organized in collaboration with Chef Roberto Fracchioni and a number of GTA restaurants and grocery stores who prepared various dishes for the participating media, influencers and industry representatives.  

SPRING 2022
BUYER TRIP TO PESCARA

A selection of buyers from Ontario visited Pescara in the Abruzzo region to meet with a variety of food and wine companies of the area. 

SPRING 2022
CHEF MASSIMO BOTTURA - A MASTERCLASS ON TRUE ITALIAN TASTE
Chef Massimo Bottura - A Masterclass on True Italian Taste

During this exclusive masterclass on True Italian Taste “one of the foremost ambassadors of modern Italian cuisine”, three-Michelin Star Chef Massimo Bottura, shared his extensive knowledge of Authentic Italian Food and his commitment and passion for social change.

WINTER 2022
TRADE MISSION: BUY WINE TOSCANA
Buy Food Toscana 2022

The 12th edition of this trade show for international buyers took place in Florence and over 200 Tuscan wineries showcased the best of their regional appellation wines. True Italian Taste brought a group of buyers and wine agents, including one from Ontario, to participate in a 3-day program and B2B meetings.

FALL 2021
TRADE MISSION: BUY FOOD SIENA

Gennaro Giliberti, Director Regione Toscana, Agricultural Sector and Rural Development, and Gesualdo Mastruzzo, President Numage Trading Inc., at the 2021 edition of BuyFood Toscana 2021

Fall 2021 sees True Italian Taste host a group of buyers from North America, including one from Ontario to venture to the Province of Siena. Foods from this region include cavallucci, panforte and ricciarelli di Siena.

FALL 2021
AUTHENTIC ITALIAN TABLE: COFFEE AND DESSERT

Espresso semifreddo by Chef Mattia Pagliara of La Scuola di Eataly

Attendees learn how to make an espresso semifreddo through a virtual experience with La Scuola di Eataly.

SUMMER 2021
TUTTI A TAVOLA GOES VIRTUAL
Chef Roberto Fracchioni takes ICCO Canada’s Tutti a Tavola series virtual

ICCO Canada and Chef Roberto Fracchioni host Tutti a Tavola, a series of virtual cooking events exploring various Italian food regions.

SPRING/SUMMER 2021
B2B RELATIONSHIP BUILDING AND MENTORING

ICCO Canada hosts virtual mentoring and B2B relationship building activities. Participating companies connect and exchange information on food production and importing.

SPRING 2021
THE AUTHENTIC ITALIAN TABLE - BUONISSIMO!
Chef Andrea Censorio's gnocchi ripieni alla primavera wins most creative dish

Six local restaurants each prepare a dish featuring DOP/IGP product during this live virtual event. It is hosted by television personality Michelle Jobin, and attending media vote on their favourites.

2020
FALL 2020 & WINTER/SUMMER 2021
GREAT ITALIAN WINES SERIES
This is how ICCO Canada celebrates Italian wines Photo credit: Terroni

ICCO Canada hosts a series of virtual wine tastings featuring indigenous Italian grapes. They are hosted by a certified sommelier and winemakers from Italy. Guests order wines in advance and are able to taste along with the presentation. This is made possible through collaborations with Noble Estates Wine & Spirits and Cavinona, Terroni's exclusive wine agency.

FALL 2020
PENTOLA D'ORO - UNDER THE STARS
The Pentola D’Oro awards recognizes outstanding achievements in food and beverage

The virtual gala takes place in collaboration with Eataly and Michelin Star Chef Cristina Bowerman and Chef Roberto Fracchioni. Five awards are presented. Winners include Chef Massimo Capra, Gabe Torchetti of Lady York Foods, Joe Pulla of Johnvince Foods, Halpern Enterprises and Salvatore Mele of Oretta.

SUMMER/FALL 2020
BUON APPETITO WITH ALMA
ALMA is the world's leading international educational centre for Italian cuisine

ICCO Canada hosts three virtual ‘Buon Appetito with ALMA’ classes hosted by chef Carlo-Maria Ricci. This special masterclass series is organized in collaboration with ALMA  The International School of Italian Cuisine. A group of influencers, media and industry professionals learn the secrets of making pasta, bread and gelato, Italian style.

SPRING/FALL 2020
TRUE ITALIAN TASTE MASTERCLASSES
Products showcased at the True Italian Taste Masterclass Photo credit: Anna Milan

Chef Roberto Fracchioni teaches the history behind food certifications, preserving food heritage, and ‘made-in-Italy’ V.S. ‘product of Italy’. Media, influencers and industry are served dishes featuring Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Toscano, Gorgonzola, Piave, olive oil and Aceto Balsamico di Modena. Later, ICCO Canada hosts its first virtual masterclass in collaboration with Longo’s Food Market.

SPRING/FALL 2020
THE AUTHENTIC ITALIAN TABLE GOES VIRTUAL
ICCO Canada hosts its first virtual food education events in 2020

ICCO Canada quickly pivots to virtual food experiences in the spring, featuring a pizza al padellino workshop in collaboration with Eataly. In the fall, Chefs Mattia Pagliara, Claudio Sadler and Rob Gentile each host Il Panino Gourmet, presenting two panini recipes prepared with DOP and IGP products.

2019
WINTER 2019
PECORINO TOSCANO TASTING DINNERS
Pecorino Toscano tasting dinner at Giro D’Italia

Oretta, Stelvio and Giro D’Italia host tasting dinners where guests enjoy regional fare including branzino topped with Pecorino Toscano. The lesson? Italian cuisine is not monolithic. The adage that all Italians never combine cheese and fish is just not true. The next time you make cozze, sprinkle on some Pecorino Toscano stagionato.

FALL 2019
BOMBA! CENTITALIA PRESENTS ‘TASTE OF CALABRIA’
Tastings of Calabrese specialties take place across Ontario

CENTItalia is presented in collaboration with the region of Calabria. Michelin Star Chef Antonio Abbruzzino and Chefs Pino Barbino and Giovanni De Luca present workshops, masterclasses and tasting dinners. The program includes tasting corners at select Fortinos and Longo’s locations

SUMMER 2019
TRUE ITALIAN TASTE: INFLUENCER TRIP TO UMBRIA
Michelle Jobin experiences True Italian Taste in Umbria

Michelle Jobin, TV personality and fixture in Toronto’s food scene, visits Umbria. She joins a group of influencers from all over the world, sent to the region to discover True Italian Taste. They experience Pecorino Toscano, Prosciutto di Norcia, Montefalco Sagrantino, chocolate and truffles.

SPRING 2019
BUYER TRIP TO TORINO

Buyers from Ontario take a trip to Torino and meet with food and wine producers. The region is known for biscotti, gianduja, truffles and vermouth. It is home to the iconic Ferrero, creators of Ferrero Rocher and Nutella.

SPRING 2019
THE AUTHENTIC ITALIAN TABLE: EMILIA ROMAGNA EDITION

Upon the chefs’ return to Canada, they host a set of tasting dinners featuring flavours of Emilia Romagna. Dinners take place at Quatrefoil, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, The Good Earth Food and Wine Co., and Centennial College’s The Local. Special guest Chef Carla Brigliadori of Casa Artusi joins students at Centennial College.

SPRING 2019
AUTHENTIC ITALIAN TABLE: EDUCATIONAL TOUR
Chefs Andrew Thorne, Fraser Macfarlane, Michael Russell and Roberto Fracchioni

The chefs embark on an educational tour of Emilia Romagna, the birthplace of many important Italian specialties. Examples include Parmigiano Reggiano, Mortadella di BolognaAceto Balsamico di Modena, Reggio Emilia and Prosciutto di Parma.

SPRING 2019
EXPERIENCING PECORINO TOSCANO
Afrim Pristine, Heidi Ruggier, Chef Matteo Donati, Jason Skrobar, Claire Tansey

ICCO Canada and Pecorino Toscano host food industry professionals Afrim Pristine, Heidi Ruggier, Jason Skrobar and Claire Tansey. Pecorino Toscano is a nutty, balanced sheep’s milk cheese. The group visits farms, dairies, Biancane National Park and experiences a cooking lesson at Donati Restaurant.

2018
FALL 2018
CENTITALIA: ICCO CANADA PUTS THE SPOTLIGHT ON EATALY
Corrado Paina and Oscar Farinetti at Centennial College

CENTItalia kicks off launching Il Sospeso, ICCO Canada’s espresso book. Guests enjoy pastries by Chef Andrea Tortora, voted Italy’s best pastry chef by L’Espresso Guide. Michelin Star Chef Silvia Baracchi shares food excellences from Tuscany. The week concludes with a lecture from Oscar Farinetti, founder of Eataly and FICO.

FALL 2018
BUYER TRIP TO MILANO

Milan is known for food specialties like panettone, gorgonzola, Cremona salami, and soppressata Bresciana. Ontario buyers meet new suppliers and taste their products.

FALL 2018
TRUE ITALIAN TASTE: INFLUENCER TRIP TO PIEMONTE

Suzie Durigon, cookbook author and creator of Just Crumbs, visits Piemonte to discover the excellencies of the local food and wine scene. Her group learns about Italian certifications, Italian cheese, Asti D.O.C.G wine consortium and Nocciola Piemonte.

SPRING 2018
THE INAUGURAL AUTHENTIC ITALIAN TABLE
Ligurian style lingcod by Chef Ross Midgely served at The Local at Centennial College

ICCO Canada hosts the inaugural Authentic Italian Table at Centennial College’s The Local, Luma at TIFF Bell Lightbox and Ravine Vineyard’s Barrel Cellar. Chef Matthew DeMille appears on CP24 Breakfast and makes Fontina fondue. Chef Ugo Mura of IFSE Culinary School supports the events.

SPRING 2018
BUYER TRIP TO BOLOGNA

This represents the first buyer trip organized by ICCO Canada after the introduction of CETA. Buyers have access to an abundance of new Italian products as a result of the trade agreement. Buyers explore Bologna and discover new food products for the Canadian market.

SPRING 2018
THE AUTHENTIC ITALIAN TABLE: EDUCATIONAL TOUR
Chefs Michael Wilson, winemaker, Matthew DeMille, Ross Midgley and Roberto Fracchioni

The Extraordinary Italian Taste program sends four prominent Canadian chefs — Roberto Fracchioni, Matthew DeMille, Michael Wilson and Ross Midgley — to Liguria, Piemonte and Valle d’Aosta. They experience regional cuisine like vitello tonnato, ragù bianco di coniglio, Ligurian cod and Fontina Val D’Aosta.

2017
FALL 2017
CENTITALIA: PIZZA CULTURA
ICCO Canada's book titled Pizza Cultura

CENTItalia kicks off with the presentation of Pizza Cultura, ICCO Canada’s newest book. Centennial College students enjoy classes from Italy’s top maestro pizzaiolo, Franco Pepe. Michelin Star Chef Cristina Bowerman from Rome and Chef Ugo Mura from IFSE Culinary School teach students and host dining experiences.

FALL 2017
TRUE ITALIAN TASTE: INFLUENCER TRIP

Annie Chu, author of Chu on This, visits Emilia Romagna and Lombardia with a group of influencers from different parts of the world. They do workshops on Parmigiano ReggianoAceto Balsamico di Modena and Prosciutto di Parma. They enjoy tasting dinners and visit Zibello Culatello and Auricchio Provolone production sites.

SPRING 2017
ASSAGGIA CON ME: PRODUCT SEEDING AT COPPA’S FRESH MARKET
Christina Mastruzzo and Tiziana Tedesco at Coppa's Fresh Market in Vaughan

ICCO Canada hosts pop-up tastings at Coppa’s Fresh Market in collaboration with Numage Trading. Products like Vulture extra virgin olive oil, nduja, and Prosciutto di Parma are showcased. Mani Agency provides Bepin De Eto Prosecco D.O.C.G. (2015) and Odoardi Terra Damia I.G.T. Rosso (2013).

SUMMER 2017
TRUE ITALIAN TASTE: INFLUENCER TRIP

Rob Gentile, former chef of Buca, is sent to Italy to learn about the specialties of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. He does workshops on Italian cheese, Prosciutto di San Daniele and learns about Geographical Indications. He explores wineries and Codroipo, a Friulian town.

SPRING 2017
TRUE ITALIAN TASTE: INFLUENCER TRIP

Joe Baker, former dean of Centennial College’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts visits Puglia and Campania. During his trip, he learns about typical regional products like Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, La Bella della Daunia olives, and La pizza Napoletana with Franco Pepe. The group visits vineyards, olive groves and Michelin star restaurants.

2016
FALL 2016
ICCO CANADA AND CENTENNIAL COLLEGE LAUNCH CENTITALIA
Chef Ugo Mura, Chef Paolo Cacciani, Alberto Lazzoni, Chef Filippo Saporito, Chef Rocco Grisoni, Tiziana Tedesco, Astrid D’Urzo, Corrado Paina, Silvia Tracogna, Maria Stea, Chef Allison Iannarelli Photo credit: Giulia Storti

ICCO Canada and Centennial College create CENTItalia. Week-long programming includes a food symposium and masterclasses featuring prominent chefs from Italy – Chefs Ugo Mura, Valentino Cassanelli, Paolo Cacciani, and Michelin Star Chef Filippo Saporito. The week culminates with ICCO Canada’s Pentola d’Oro gala held at the Carlu. In the fall, a group of buyers from Ontario visit Foggia, best known for its olive oil, Gargano lemons and Bella di Cerignola olives.

SPRING 2016
CANADA SAYS HELLO TO THE EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN TASTE
ICCO Canada hosts a tasting at Lady York Foods with il Botolo

The Italian Ministry of Economic Development launches the Extraordinary Italian Taste program. The purpose is to highlight 100% made-in-Italy products. Pop-up tastings take place at Cheese Boutique and Lady York Foods. A buyer trip to Cibus, an international agri-food sector trade show, is organized. In anticipation of CETA, buyers seek out new Italian food products for Canadian grocery shelves.

2015
SUMMER 2015
EXPO MILAN

ICCO Canada hosts delegates from Ontario and Manitoba to showcase at Expo Milan. New food products from the region of Lazio and wines from a variety of regions are introduced to Canada through deals made with select, independent grocery stores in Ontario.

Welcome to Buonissimo.ca!

ICCO Canada and The True Italian Taste project are happy to introduce Buonissimo.ca, our newest tool to inform consumers about how to consciously purchase and enjoy 100% made-in-Italy products. Find updates on the latest food and wine trends and everything you need to know about authentic Italian cuisine.

The True Italian Taste project is promoted and financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and carried out by Assocamerestero in collaboration with the Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad.

ICCO Canada is the catalyst to developing business and cultural alliances among visionaries, entrepreneurs, and global organizations in Canada and in Italy.

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