Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Golosaria to you too!
We went, we sampled, we schmoozed, but we didn't turn into total gluttons. Thank goodness. We arrived in Torino, Monday morning at the the Palazzo Isozaki and had an immediate flashback to the 2006 winter Olympics, when the now unlit torch was in full form and I had arrived for the closing ceremonies with a dear friend from the states. It was a magical night and even though I have passed by this plaza more than a few times when making day trips to Torino, walking in the plaza and arriving in the foyer of the ice hockey rink for Club Papillon's 2007 edition of "Golosaria", I felt a wave of nostalgia wash over me.
Paolo Massobrio, native Piemontese from Asti, is a journalist, food critic and author of several Food and Wine guides though out Italy. He established Club Papillon as an association dedicated to promotion and support of the extraordinary food and wines of this area. Golosaria came into being as an annual event to celebrate showcase the top 100 producers of the year through out Italy, with the main awards going to different categories for all of the individual provinces of Piemonte. Not exactly the academy awards, but something along that lines.
Paolo(on the right) and Marco Gatti, his co critic and Club Papillon, associate, are always easily identifiable at these events by their trademark bow ties(papillon). We arrived as Veronica Maya arrived. She is a RAI Television presenter, whom has taken over the co hosting of one of my favorite TV programs, Linea Verde, which is a weekly program showcasing all the interesting and fascinating nooks and crannies of Italy, sampling their way around the area, while the whole town, family or factory turns up in costume or with the family's favorite recipe and the show rolls on to the next town the next week. Anyway, she arrived just steps in front of us and took her place on the platform to join in the discussion of how to encourage the growth of Enogastronmic Tourism in north west Italy, adding a fresh vibrant voice to the discussion .
Food and wine shows in Italy are far more interesting than the trade shows I use to attend in the states over the years, mainly due to the fact that here the emphasis is on genuine food, usually coming from small producers and factories. It's not to say that they big food shows of America weren't without interest, as there were always a few small gems that I usually sniffed out in the sea of convenience products that has become the standard way of feeding the masses. I must say that the quality of mass produced food has definitely improved over the years, but honestly the soullessness of mass production is something I am happy to have left behind in the dust. Humm I digress.
Monday at a big food show in Torino is always a fun time and usually we run into people we know in the business and meet new people making it all the more fun. This year was no exception. (see last years Golosaria at the Stupinigi) The producers were more accessible as the crowds of Sunday were gone and it had more of a club feeling. I discovered that my favorite organic rice producer Gli Aironi has been picked up by Jamie Oliver . Well, if he thinks it's good, I probably won't be able to afford it soon. Just kidding. The owner was so friendly and gave me some brown and red rice to try as I hadn't seen it yet. I can't wait to try them as their Carnoroli rice which I used in the zucca risotto the other day is excellent and the black rice is so flavorful. We also ran into our friends who own Lago Laux up by Usseaux and Domenico Clerico, a premier Barolo vintner and general character from over in the Barolo area. It was good to catch up and talk shop a bit. Our friends from the acclaimed Flipot restaurant in Torre Pellice were there to receive an award as one of the top restaurants in the Province of Turin. The food was interesting and some were exceptional. Yet, I found myself just feeling like being more of an observer than really wanting to take a lot of food photos. There was no shortage of delicious things to sample, which we did. So I took a few photos of some of the more unusual things like this car completely covered in Chocolate. Interesting but I can't say it made me want to sample it. I kept thinking what a waste of good chocolate. Now I would say that the chocolate bra and thong were photo worthy, although difficult to get a good shot through the cellophane.
Very humorous. They've gotten a fair amount of views on my flickr account.