Hi everyone, I thought I would share with you the last few days. This is really more of a debriefing as well as a tribute to my experience in Italy over the weekend.
For me, there were really two stories to be told there. The first was to explain the Salone del Gusto, and the other is to explain the Garofalo “family” (which is how that company felt).
The Salone del Gusto is held every other year (even years only). It is a huge festival, where thousands and thousands of people get together to enjoy food, to educate and be educated about food, and above all else to celebrate the purity of quality ingredients. After all, we are what we eat.
The Salone was held in Torino, Italy, in what was the original FIAT factory. It is enormous. The entrance, where hundreds of people at a time were lined up starting early in the morning, led you first to the beautiful, elaborately built sets of the Salone’s sponsors. These included six main sponsors, one of which was Garofalo Pasta.
(This is the outside of the front of the Garofalo set)
(Biggest bag of pasta ever!)
Then you are released into the “Pavilion.” This was shocking. Maybe a thousand booths were arranged by region. (Piedmont, Tuscan, Sicilian, etc.) Each region was filled with farmers and makers of beautiful, artisanal products giving away samples and selling their wares. Cured meats, every type of vegetable, cheese, pasta, chocolates, spices, coffee, beers and wine- even gelato! Anyone that was allowed to present their product was not only one of the best of their region, but had also put their products through strict quality assessments to make sure that they measured up to the standards of the Slow Food Movement.
(can you imagine a thousand booths of products that look this beautiful!?)
I also want to talk about Garofalo Pasta for a minute. I traveled all the way to Italy to do a cooking demonstration for them, (not only because it is hard to turn down a trip to Italy!) but because I was really impressed with their product.
Let me say, that when I arrived and met the people running Garofalo, everything made sense. Here’s the thing, they are really similar to all of the small farmers in the “pavilion.” They are full of pride and passion for what they are doing. They really believe in making their pasta in the best possible way, with the best possible ingredients. It is heartfelt, and you can taste it in their product.
How they are different from the small local farmers is that they have a larger platform and an established brand. But I promise, they are using it for good! One of the things as a mother that got me was that they are really helping to launch a movement within Italy to improve the nutrition of their children. When I arrived on Friday morning, they were in the middle of a press conference aiming to educate and encourage mothers and fathers on how to feed their children quickly and nutritiously. They are excited about taking the traditional recipes of their country (which are always fresh and full of local ingredients) and teaching them to the new generations.
(my favorite pictures from the Garofalo set)
They are also supporting the small local producers with Garofalo D.O.C. They are packaging and selling the small farmers beautiful products under the Garofalo name, but with ample credit to where the product came from. Basically they are giving the little guys a chance to get their name and their product out. So they pick things like the very best beans, or anchovy oil or artichoke hearts. Beautiful, beautiful stuff!
And finally, (yes more do-gooding!) they just released a limited edition spaghetti in Italy that is zero-impact. As in zero negative impact on the environment, including the manufacturing and packaging, which was a plastic, made from corn products. Cool, huh? I think people would be seriously into that here in the states.
(me prepping in the Garofalo set kitchen)
(Italians flooding in to taste my pasta recipe!)
The whole Festival, as well as Garofalo Pasta’s part in it was moving to me. I take my hat off to the whole group and their mission. I support them and wish them luck!
Thanks you Garofalo Pasta for the experience!
I also wanted to mention that I met quite a few Italian food Bloggers who did cooking presentations for Garofalo as well. I have been promised their recipes, and will be excited to post them for your enjoyment as soon as I get my hand on them!Print Recipe
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Can’t wait to hear more about it! I adore Italy – and the food.
Sounds like absolute heaven. Thanks for posting!!
Will you go again in 2012? I would love to attend the event. Today, I ordered Garofalo pastas from Amazon.
Thank you Heather for your presence and your wonderful pasta! Emidio – Pasta Garofalo