Monday, October 27, 2008
The producers at Salone del Gusto.
The exposition invites small niche producers from all over the world and pays the way for those unable to attend for financial reasons. Thus, we find owners of little coffee farms from Honduras, a family chocolate business from Ecuador, cheese makers from Romania, and a myriad of others who grow or make special food products which are in danger of extinction. With globalization of food resources, we lose biodiversity, a prime example is the loss of 90% of the apple varieties in Italy in the last 60 years. I show one of the apples from the Marche which is now a Slow Food Presidio product, the mela rosa. It is a small, ugly apple which wouldn't appeal to the masses who buy their perfectly formed, tasteless, red delicious apples at the supermarket. It is a strange apple, which I don't particularly like, but which gets better with age, so that an apple picked in the Fall will be better in mid winter as the flavors concentrate a bit.
I bought a pack of nuts called Baru from a farmer in Brasile which tastes like a cross between an almond and a hazelnut and they are worth searching out! (www.barubrasil.com.br)
There were salamis made only in one town in Italy or by one producer, cheeses from an endangered type of sheep or goat which might live only in one mountainous zone. As always, you can check out these products at Slowfood.com under Presidi products. There was a booth devoted to artisanal non pasteurized american cheeses and if you haven't compared pasteurized with unpasteurized cheeses, please do so and your taste buds and eyes will be opened to the big loss of flavor you get with pasteurization. You can find these wonderful cheeses at www.rawmilkcheese.org
There are rows and rows of products from Sicily, Tuscany, Piemonte etc. and then there is the via of chocolate, one for cured meats, another for cheeses, another for honey and jams, another for grains, etc. One really needs 3 days to do Salone del gusto well. There is a beer tasting area, a wine tasting area with 500 wines by the glass, and little posts where you can get some snacks to counteract the the effects from the above.
This event occurs every 2 years, alternating with "Cheese" at Bra and both are worth scheduling as part of a vacation. Be sure to reserve special tastings 4 months in advance as the best sell out quickly. You can then hit truffle season in Alba or travel to other zones in Italy, afterwards.
My next post will be about the Tre Bicchiere tasting and Turin/Torino the city which is really interesting as well.
The pictures are of the mela rosa (pink apple) from the mountainous area of the Marche, Eataly, the grand food store across the street from the Lingotto exposition area, which is more beautiful than whole foods at home, my friends from the wonderful rice maker Acquarello (available in the USA and great for risotto!) and a couple of cheese booths, the latter being parmigiano obviously.
Posted by Dwight at 8:45 AM