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Students Celebrate Thanksgiving with Traditional Italian Food

While their friends and family ate turkey back home, the Umbra History and Culture of Food course students celebrated Thanksgiving weekend by eating prosciutto and parmigiano reggiano in the celebrated food capital of Parma, Italy.

“Going to Parma during Thanksgiving 

weekend made me forget about being away from my family and home,” said Lauren Cudney of the University of Denver. “And what else could you want during Thanksgiving but food galore?”


Through hands-on tours of family owned factories and cooperatives, the Food Studies students learned about the traditional and complex processes involved in creating some of Italy’s most famed food products.

“This trip was the ultimate foodie experience,” said DePauw University student Madeline Vering. “It’s one thing to hear abou the production of food, but it’s really incredible to see it in action!”

The trip was not complete without a tasting at each of the factories. Students could finally put into practice the curriculum from the classroom and the information they learned on the tours and actually experience the food. The favorite part of the trip was tasting aged parmigiano reggiano and the unfamiliar but decadent treat of balsamic vinegar on top of vanilla ice cream. 

“Like the other co-curricular trips, the goal was to learn about the production of these important food products  but with a historical-cultural context,” said Food Studies Program Director Zachary Nowak, adding: “And it doesn’t hurt to try some great cheese, prosciutto, and vinegar!”

For more information about the Umbra Institute or its Food Studies Program, contact Nowak. You may also watch a short overview of the program on YouTube.

 Editor’s note: This story is by University of Denver student Marisa Pooley, a Food Studies Program student. 

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