Enabling farming companies and craft businesses that produce quality food products to reach out to the general public and at the same enable anyone driving through Italy to enjoy the taste of local produce they don’t normally find in supermarkets.
This is the mission of a new partnership between Slow Food Italia, a trade association, and Autogrill Group. The agreement will initially operate in four motorway service areas: Autogrill Villoresi Est on the Milano Laghi A8, Autogrill Sebino on the Torino-Trieste A4 and two points of sale - Bistrot Fiorenzuola d'Arda and Bistrot Bologna Cantagallo – on the Emilia-Romagna section of the Milano-Napoli A1.
From February onwards, travellers visiting these four Autogrill locations will find one or more shelves dedicated to products selected by Slow Food Italia (including a number of “Presìdi Slow Food” certified products) and the latest publications from Slow Food Editore. These spaces will display the association’s logo, a snail.
says Daniele Buttignol, secretary general, Slow Food Italia.
commented Autogrill Chief Marketing Officer Ezio Balarini.
Lombardia and Emilia-Romagna specialities to be offered in this experimental phase will include pastas and preserves, jams and beers, chocolate and biscuits.
From the “Cremona bassa” area, there will be maccheroni, spaghetti, penne and fusilli made exclusively with durum wheat and Kamut grown organically in Italy by “Cooperativa agricola Iris di Casteldidone”.
The beer phenomenon currently fermenting our “peninsula” is represented by Birrificio Elav, Comun Nuovo (Bergamo), with a selection of five labels: Grunge IPA, Indian Ale, No War, Punks Do It Better and Uppercut IPA.
The Varese area is sending chocolate art specialities by Buosi, which will be offering tastings of its sumptuous praline collection and its curious chocolate spoons. The longstanding chocolate firm Bardini (Piacenza) will present a selection of single source products from Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia and Cuba, and a sophisticated blend, all strictly without added flavouring or preservatives.
The selection will close with a tasting of Lombardia biscuits, including “Offelle di Parona” (traditional and cocoa-flavoured), in the “Pavese” tradition, made by Forno Collivasone, and “Brutti ma Buoni”, an original recipe dated 1878, by Pasticceria Veniani in Gavirate (Varese).
Guests of honour from outside Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia will be “Grumolo delle Abbadesse” rice and traditional “biancoperla” maize flour from Veneto, both being Slow Food certified products. Grumolo delle Abbaddesse is a small town half way between Vicenza and Padova, where the excellent “vialone nano”, a rice variety grown since the 16th century, benefits from the special characteristics of the soil and water. The same area offers another unique product, “biancoperla” maize, a traditional variety used to make the “white” polenta that’s a must with dishes based on fish from local rivers and Venice’s “lagoon”.
Lastly, the selection of Presìdi Slow Food coffees: “Terre alte” from Huehuetenango in Guatemala and “Selvatico” from the Harenna Forest in Ethiopia. At Huehuetenango (1,900 metres above sea level), coffee is grown in the shade of tall trees, fermented immediately after harvesting and then sun-dried. While Ethiopia, where the coffee plant originated, is the only country where the species is still found wild: a journey back through time to the origins of the Italians’ favourite drink.
The bookshelf offering includes the following publications from Slow Food Editore: bestsellers Osterie d’Italia 2018 and Slow Wine 2018 and two local cook books, Ricette di Milano e Lombardia and Ricette di Emilia-Romagna.
Collaboration between Slow Food Italia and Autogrill to showcase local produce will be extended in the coming years to other points of sale on Italian motorways.