A Slow Food Experience: Visiting Borgoluce
“strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds, and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. It was the first established part of the broader slow movement.” (source Wikipedia)
On our arrival we were greeted by Michele and Sara and after a quick espresso and a slice of home made fregolota, a typical Northern Italy large cookie cake, we sat down and were introduce to Gino Bortoletto, Regional President of Slow Food and one of the original founders of the association.
What is Slow Food?
Gino explained that in the origins in 1986 there was Arcigola, a group of Italian friends who wanted
“to give importance to food, to how it is born, to those who grow it and how it arrives to our plate”
“ understand food as a cultural and sociological fact”.
It then developed in the Slow Food Association in 1989, when delegates from 15 countries signed the manifesto of the International Slow Food movement in Paris. Today the movement counts 150 countries!
Slow Food tries to educate people on how to choose the right food and why, bringing awareness on biodiversity and the respect of nature, not just with talks and lecturers, but also with concrete actions.
Slow Food have now over 10,000 allotments in Africa, teaching local communities how to grow the most suitable produce for their land and
“training a network of leaders aware of the value of their land and their culture who can serve as protagonists for change and the continent’s future.”
Slow Food is also the promoter and creator of Terra Madre, the largest and most culturally significant food and wine fair in the world, which takes place every year in Turin.
Gino explained also that Slow Food tries to educate adults, through Master Classes on cheese, wine and different food, as well as children, thanks to the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche, located in Bra, in Italy.
In Italy the association counts over 40,000 members, with around 3,000 in the Veneto Region (plus 2, actually, since Monica Campaner of TuttiPossonoCucinare and I recently joined the association, following this educational tour!).
Who is Borgoluce?
We were then introduced to the Countess of Collalto, the proud owner of Borgoluce, an eco-sustainable estate that produces honey, cheese, meat, cereals and wine following the Slow Food ideology.
The 1,220 hectares estate of Collato is situated in Susegana in Treviso, in the hills of Prosecco, just to give you an idea of the location.
The countess explains that the estate has been property of the Counts of Collalto since the 1200s and it has always been dedicated to agriculture, trying to care and protect the environment at the same time.
Borgoluce is totally a slow food supply chain. It is involved in wine production (Prosecco, Cabernet and Merlot among the varieties they grow) and has a large livestock, in particular cattle, pigs, buffaloes, equine and sheep, in a marginal way, as well as growing a large range of cereals. It is one of the companies in Veneto, and Italy ,that have been changing the image of agriculture for a long time in the eyes of the consumer. This company wants to show the end user where the food is coming from and how important the role of agriculture today is.
All the structures of the vast company, their shops, their osteria and their agriturism, are all designed to receive visits or carry out educational activities. They are also in the process of setting up an education path to see how wine is made, starting from where it grows in the vineyard up to the way it is bottled (and wine tasting activities will be held too).
What is Borgoluce so different?
The whole idea of Borgoluce is to offer food, farm to table, where nothing goes to waist, meaning every single waist from the farm is totally recycled.
A concept with profound roots in Italy: del maiale non si butta via niente, says an old proverb – you do not throw anything away of the pig.
It was now time to visit the estate.
We made our way to Mandre, the stable of buffaloes and also an educational farm. Here we had the opportunity to view all the beautiful buffaloes, whose milk is used to make buffalo mozzarella and we were also lucky enough to see a little calf being born! What an experience even though it was all over in a few minutes.
All of the energy used by Borgoluce
“comes from the by-products of their woodlands, the animal farms and the plantations. A biomass boiler burns Wood, while a bio digester transforms animal dung and cereal silage into biogas, which produces the electric energy they use and the thermal energy that heats the buffalo sheds; the very ones from which this energy derives. Even the swimming pool of Borgoluce agritourism is biological, as they have replaced the chlorine and other chemical products with plants, according to the principles of phytopurification.
This is what coexisting with nature means to Borgoluce.”
After this very enlightening visit to the farm, it was finally time to sample some of their world famous products!
What you can eat at Borgoluce
In the location of Frasca, the name of their little osteria, we got to taste some amazing buffalo mozzarella and soft cheeses, great salamis and hams as well as their home made bread. And this was only the appetizer!
The chef prepared for us a beautiful place of Musetto, a typical winter cooked salame on a plate of white Mais Bianco Polenta. Borgoluce is also the Slow Food Presidia of Mais Bianco perla, a particular kind of corn, typical of this particular region.
We then got to try the amazing meat, on a delicious home made bun, in the form of a burger! And of course all the food bloggers got crazy taking photos!
The meal ended with a light and delightful Pannacotta with honey and walnuts.
And of course everything got washed down with plenty of bottles of Borgoluce Prosecco!
Of course every single dish was prepared with products from the farm. All of these delightful dishes and more are available in the various food location of the farm.
So, if you want to really sample a slow food supply chain this is the place to come and you get to learn a lot too!
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