Monday, March 16, 2009

Strada Reale meets Museo del Gusto

We have been enjoying a variety of launches of several recent exciting projects that will continue to place Val Chisone on the map for it's wine and cuisine. It's also an opportunity for our local artisan producers to reach a larger audience and encourage tourism in our part of Piedmont. Last year our Torino/Turin province, initiated a project creating a wine road in our entire province to highlight all of our local wines. We enjoyed the inauguration of that effort a couple of weeks ago in Torino. Thus Strada Reale Dei Vini Torinesi, (site in Italian only) or the Royal Torino Wine Road, was born, with a lot of speeches and some sampling of the goods, which I must say, made the speeches more palatable. It's an exciting addition to the touristic promotion of our area, and is now, a reality.


Hot on the heels of this presentation were two more, that were even closer to home over in Frossasco, an old Roman town, home to Museo del Gusto, a unique museum dedicated to the history of food down through the ages. It is also home to our friends, the Dora family, of Dora Vini winery, where they produce their Pinerolese wines. The first, saw the opening of the "Bottega del Vino"in the Museo del Gusto. Most of the Strada Reale far flung wineries of our Torino Province are represented there, making it possible to pick up a few bottles in one place. The Museo del Gusto, now is a "must stop" point on the wine lovers itinerary. True to Italian tradition, it's not only about the wine. You must have food to round out your experience, especially if you find yourself at a museum dedicated to food. They have added in a sampling of Paniere products, which are some Torino provinces unique and highest quality producers of local specialties. You can see a sampler package, that Eataly has put together. We use some of the products here in our "Cooking Together" sessions. Some of our other friends products are there as well, Difinello Coffee and Bernard liqueurs, to name a couple.


The most interesting evening to me personally was the presentation of the movie "Inverno" by Andrea Fenoglio and Diego Mometti, the first chapter in a series of "Landscapes of the World", an attempt to supported by Carlo Petrini and Slow food. It is an attempt to explore the return to the cultivation of the land through practices that does no harm, and all of the inherent obstacles and benefits. I found the black and white film intriguing, haunting and ultimately troubling. It was filmed in February completely in the Pinerolo area. During this time period the landscape is as stark as the words of the people who cultivate and nurture the old ways of food production. Methods that have been squeezed out along the way with progress. Images of a man plowing his field along side of a road on which the other side was a wall of new apartment buildings, with relentless cars passing by between, hammered home the message. It's hard to hang onto the land and traditional practices when we are surrounded by unchecked growth. The film spoke volumes to all of these issues with just a pan of the lens.


We were pleased and honored to meet, surely the most widely recognized public face and spokesperson of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini, one of its founders. He has also written extensively on the subject, with titles like, "Slow Food, the Case for Taste" and "Slow Food Revolution", to name just a couple. He is a funny and passionate speaker that can hold the rapt attention of a crowd. He is a very accessible man for all of his celebrity. He seemed genuinely interested in hearing about our efforts to bring sustainable tourism here and to join us for dinner sometime. Vediamo. We shall see. Stay tuned!
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