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CEREALI/ Il grano e i suoi derivati: il pane, la pasta e la pizza
 
Leir Cliff (Canada)
I have a bakery in Canada; it is on the West Coast in a small city called Victoria. It is about 300,000 people. I started baking about 8 years ago, I built a small oven in my driveway and started fermenting dough and made a lot of bad bread but learned a lot throughout the process. We would sell it at a local market, and I got to be a better baker and became more popular than we could keep up with at the market, so we opened up a shop about 5 years ago.
We bake with all organic ingredients. We do a full line of pastries, lunch items and coffee, but my focus is on bread. And that is why I am here. We bake with wood fired brick ovens and like I said we use all organic grains and a wild yeast fermentation for all of them. It is all hand formed, so it is a very labor intensive process but we feel it has the most potential for producing unique and high quality breads. We also have a commitment to work as much seasonally and locally as we can. So we work with local cheesemakers, nut growers, vegetable growers, and fruit growers. We use these in our breads and our pastries, and we also try and impart a healthy work place to provide a good role in the community and to provide decent living for as many people as the place can facilitate. In the past year and a half, we have kind of taken on a new project, milling our own flour, which has enabled us to work directly with farmers. We hooked up with Marc Loiselle who is going to speak after me. He is a 5th generation grain farmer. He’ll tell you all about his story. But through a loose network of grain growers and wheat enthusiasts throughout Canada we connected with him. We started speaking last winter and this spring he planted enough of a variety called Red Fife to supply our bakery for the next year. It just came in off the fields before leaving for here, it is drying right now, and we will be getting our first shipment when we get back from here.
The reason we started working with Red Fife, there are lots of different reasons, but mostly it was a variety that Marc was interested in growing. And I think it is important in connecting with farmers and seeing what it works for them. It was the first variety of wheat that flourished in Canada and allowed people to start growing wheat across the country, and it allowed for settlement and more stable agriculture across the country. So it has a lot of historical significance, it is also the genetic parent to all the hard red varieties grown in North America. That is why we selected it as a presidium to the Slow Food Ark and then as a Presidium project, because at the same when we were starting to work on it, Monsanto was starting to produce their genetically modified wheat and their test fields are in the same area where Marc is growing and where there are a lot of other farmers trying to grow heritage varieties and there is the possibility of cross contamination. This contaminating all of our wheat supply. So we thought it was a variety worth saving and was in danger of being lost. Since then Monsanto has withdrawn their application. Mostly because they thought the European wheat market wasn’t going to buy genetically modified wheat. But they may start up in the future. We don’t know.
So we started milling so that we could work directly with farmers and so that we could work with specific varieties of wheat. The milling process has such an effect from the seed to the final flour that having that in the hands of someone else who was mass producing flour for a number of different bakeries just wasn’t suiting our needs. Our production, though we only go through 50 tones a year, is very small for what the mill produces. And they weren’t going to do a special line just for us. So this was the best way for us to explore working with farmers and getting flours that would meet our specifications. There were a few problems with getting our own mill. Milling it is very complicated. We should have figured that out before hand, but as with baking just threw ourselves into it. It is an excellent way to learn. Through dealing with processes we learned, and we continue to learn a tremendous amount of milling on flour and on the final bread. So just in the aspect of learning more about our baking process it has been very worth while and also cost wise it has been, the idea is that bringing more of the production into our hands and cutting out the middle producer would stabilize our bakery a little bit because baking bread with wood fired brick ovens, doing everything by hand, using organic grains, is all pretty much the most expensive way to make bread, but at the same time we are committed to making bread accessible to as many people as possible because we believe that bread is a fundamental food, it shouldn’t just be reserved for the rich. It should be available to everyone. That is what we’ve done in the last year and a half. We are still learning lots; we still have a long way to go. I think that it’s been worthwhile and that there is a lot more potential to explore. Variety. I am very happy with the RF. I am very happy with the flavor. Though I think that the variety is more important to the farmer than to the baker although it is going to impart qualities from variety to bread. There is obviously going to be some correlation. I’m not actually sure what it is yet though, because from the seed going into the ground is going to change a lot over the year just due to growing conditions, whatever the weather is going on for the year, as well as the farming practices, when nitrogen is supplied, and all these other factors are going to influence how the wheat turns out that year. And then the milling has a huge impact on how the flour turns out and then the fermentation used by the bakery or by the baker also has tremendous impact and influence on how that flour turns into bread. I think most of all it is more the concept of farmers and millers and bakers having that closer relationship. Whether you are milling it in house or working with a miller that can do lot sizes specifically for the bakery. And through a closer relationship, we can all have a better understanding of how we can all work together to support each other. All the farmers that I speak with as well, everyone is kind of struggling a little bit to make ends meet but very impassioned about our work. Wanting to produce the best quality, whether wheat, flour, bread, possible. And so working together we can produce the best quality foods for our communities.
I am still not sure if milling in a bakery is more economically for the bakery because there are a lot of headaches involved and if you have bakers that are committed to working with understanding the milling process and the variability’s that are going to come up with that we can produce better bread and it makes it more interesting and through wheat varieties that maybe we can grow as locally as possible. And specific mill runs and fermentation, whether it be I prefer working with wild yeast. I think it has more potential for more distinguishable breads bakery to bakery. Or, with commercial yeast, there are a lot of things we can do with that too. Bakers can play with that to make more distinctive breads in their area so that over all we see kind of industrialized bread, that is very similar all across the country, so we can produce more interesting, more high quality breads in our neighborhoods and our communities.

Tony Grant (Canada)
I guess I am not speaking on a heritage variety here today; I want to share with you some of the achievements we have made at the Spearville Flour Mill. We’re a small flourmill in Atlantic Canada. When we received our invitation to this conference we weren’t sure why we had been invited. We had heard of Slow Food but had no idea what the organization stood for. Over the next few weeks we were amazed by the results of our research. And that there are others worldwide who are facing the same challenges as us and share a lot of our goals.
To come to Italy to sell our products would never have been considered but the opportunity to build relationships and networks with like-minded groups and to be able to learn and share our experiences with others proved too much for us to refuse. It is truly an honor to be a part of this world community. I am sure in the months and years to come we will be able to achieve many of our goals because of this show and we will be able to steer and help others to do the same.
In his opening speech, Carlo Petrini spoke about a dream and all the hard work and passion it will take to realize it. Today I would like to tell you about a dream that has been realized. In the mid 1970’s, a group of people, in and around the small community of Spearville, New Brunswick (Canada), gathered to discuss a dream of theirs. At this time less than 1% of all the flour and cereal products that were being consumed in Atlantic Canada were grown and processed in Atlantic Canada. Our food supply was being controlled by a handful of grocers and distributors whose main concerns were price and quantity. The use of chemicals and modern methods of processing was also a concern for these people because nutrition, purity and quality were not values that were held high by the people that brought food to our plates.
Led by a gentleman named Murry Hubbard, they discussed their dream to create a regionally based food system that would put high quality, nutritious Atlantic Canadian grown and processed foods on the plates of Atlantic Canadian families. The main focus has always been put on the local farmer, where it all begins. And in 1982, when the Spearville Flour Milling Coop milled its first batch of whole wheat and whole white flours it was with conventionally grown wheat because there were no farmers growing organic grains in Atlantic Canada. Over the next few years we developed a network of farmers who believed in Organic growing. And then president of the co-op, Stu Flicheker was instrumental in forming our certification standards and organization. His passion for organically grown, nutritious foods has been passed onto many in Atlantic Canada and further abroad. His hard work, commitment and dedication to this cause has played a large role in the realizing of their dream.
Mr. Petrini also spoke of a brotherhood and this is what we have achieved in Atlantic Canada. from field to table. The networks built among our farmers, distributors, consumers and educators can justly be called a brotherhood whose combined efforts have achieved what so many would so long ago have considered impossible. And without help from so many, likely would have been. That small flourmill of 1 employe in 1982 now employs 8 people directly at the mill and many more spinoff jobs in areas around Atlantic Canada. We now boast a product line of over 120 different products with an emphasis on being locally produced and 95% of them are organic. The mill itself processes over 50 of these products and acts as a distributor for other Atlantic Canadian businesses, lending our name and strength to their products. Our product line includes flowers and cereals made from many grains including wheat, spelt, kamut, rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoas, rice, soya, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds, dried fruits, alfalfa, red clover, radish seeds for sprouting, salts, oils, pastas, beans and peas, peanut, almond and cashew butters, maple syrup, vinegar, granola and many other whole foods.
Our commitment to selling only in Atlantic Canada forced us to diversify our products, but our values for pure, quality, whole foods has kept us on track to only accept and sell the best. The minister of Agriculture in the opening spoke about hunger and starvation, but we also need do address the issues of disease and obesity. Have you noticed how in agriculture we often talk about our health, but when we talk about our health, we never talk about agriculture? I am not sure what the health system is like around the world but in Canada too often the solution is a pill. Indigestion? Here’s a pill, heartburn? Here’s a pill. Oh, that one didn’t work? Try this one. Never mind that these pills can cause liver and kidney damage, and the list of risks is usually longer than the list of cures. We need to realize that as consumers, growers and processors we do have choices. And these decisions we make do have consequences. As individuals and organizations, we are responsible for the world we live in, and the food we eat. We need to put justice in every choice. In a global economy, justice is hard to ensure, but in a small, regional economy, where the consumer knows the baker who knows the miller who knows the farmer who knows the consumer we can ensure justice. We can guarantee quality and nutrition from field to table. Our logo at the Spearville Flour Mill reads: Pure Food, Naturally. And that is exactly what we provide.

Steve Sullivan (USA)
Hello, my name is Steve Sullivan. In 1983 my wife and I opened a bakery in Berkeley, California, across the bay from San Francisco. We wanted to fill what struck us as a legitimate but underserved need. In America at the time, it seemed that bread was either made as a sideline to cakes and cookies in small, neighborhood bakeries or was made in large, automated bread factories. In both cases good quality bread had long been the exception rather than the rule. Even many of the well-reputed old brands from our region had consolidated their production, lowering their standards and losing their distinctiveness in the process. Our idea was to have a small, wholesale bakery and, in the least automated manner practical, to make the very best bread that we possibly could for restaurants and stores in the area. I had come to Berkeley in 1975 to study at the University and had gotten a job working for Alice Waters, at Chez Panisse. By 1979 the restaurant had seen many of the small bakeries who originally supplied it fall by the wayside. While that was of course a lamentable situation, it worked out rather well for me because, following a 1978 trip to Europe, I had become a bread-baking fanatic. Before long I was baking the bread for the restaurant and, after four years of that, Alice pushed me out of the nest.
Knowing what I do about this gathering, I have to confess that I am extremely humbled at being asked to speak here. After all, when it comes to food culture and food tradition, and even to true culinary pleasure, I think that in America we are still net importers. Notwithstanding the tremendous boom in artisanal cheesemaking and breadmaking; and taking into account the longstanding history of excellence in American winemaking, we still look instinctively to other places for our models. And even with the current high profile in the American culinary world of agricultural sustainability and humane husbandry, I think it will be generations before one could say with any certainty whether these individual eruptions will grow, solidify, and begin to reinforce one another in such a way as to become permanent features on America’s cultural landscape. Certainly one needn’t reserve judgment along those lines regarding India, or Italy or France, or Turkey. Maybe we’re in the same boat again with England.
When I think about bread, and what it can mean to a community, I think about three things. Two of them are movies. One of them is La Femme du Boulanger, made by Marcel Pagnol in 1938. You can’t get through Chez Panisse university without absorbing this film’s message. This is a lighthearted film that shows how important a good baker is to the fabric of life in a small French village. How that fabric is torn when the baker becomes despondent over his young wife’s infidelities and how it is mended when she comes to realize that more than her immediate pleasure is at stake, and reassumes her proper role in the bakery, in her marriage and in society, thereby allowing her husband to once again bake bread for the village. We can debate the feminist credentials of the film at a different session. The other film is quite grim. It is called Tierra Sin Pan, and was made by Luis Buñuel in 1932. It paints quite a different picture of peasant village life in the 1930s. This isolated village in western Spain has been abandoned by a cynical church and overlooked by a modernizing state. Without the safety net of recently dissolved feudal bonds or the benefits of a modern state, the wretched poverty of this isolated village is summed up in the observation that it has no bread. No bread is equivalent to no culture. Worse than that, desperate parents steal from their malnourished children the few scraps of bread brought in weekly for the children by the school authorities. This film may have had something of a political agenda.
As different as these films are, they share the message that, over the centuries, bread has become a central feature in our thinking about how we live, transcending its value as mere sustenance. The late, Lionel Poilâne, something of a philosopher among bakers, tried to explain how bread transcended even spirituality: its sheer physicality whispering to the patient observer every little fact about the people and the place that produced it. I think that this would not be the position of the Catholic Church.
The third thing that I think about is the tremendous welcome that we received in the community that we serve, beginning with our very first day of operation. Say what you will about the value of non-conformity, praise anarchy and individualism all you like, I maintain that there is nothing to compare with the feeling of having one’s work appreciated and praised in one’s own community.
This link, though, between civilization and bread, explains the condition of the American flour industry when we began looking closely at it a few years after we got going. In a nation where virtually all of the bread was made mechanically in huge factories, the wheat growing and processing industry was simply no longer geared to respond to the individual baker. In 1985, in America, a large flour company simply could not tell a baker with any certainty what varieties of wheat were contained in a shipment or where the wheat in that flour was grown. Nor could they tell you about many of the functional characteristics that determine baking quality of the flour. And flavor? Forget about it! And in 1985 you couldn’t really get white flour that wasn’t produced by a large company.
From this position of absolute ignorance and utter weakness, then, we set about trying to get control over the varieties of wheat that went into our flour sacks. To do that, we had to get flour milled from identity-preserved samples of wheat. But the first thing we learned was that conventional wheat farmers rarely had any harvested wheat on their farms. It was either in the field or it was gone. Naturally, once wheat is harvested under a ridiculously low-priced contract, farmers at least want to get it sold as soon as possible. But organic farmers were a little different. There wasn’t much of a market for organic grain at the time, so they needed to hold on to their wheat, so that they could sell it at the right time and get a good price. So we were able get little samples of wheat, of known varieties, from known locations, grown by farmers with actual names. We could taste these wheat berries and we could send small amounts to the California Wheat Commission. They could then grind small amounts of these wheat samples and subject them to a few simple tests to help predict their baking characteristics. Then we could have larger samples of the promising ones milled in larger quantities so that we could bake in our own bakery with white flour milled from wheat that we knew something about. In this way, over several years, before we made any drastic changes to what we were doing with the bulk of our production, we began to accumulate knowledge about which varieties of wheat tasted good. About which varieties grew well in which locations. About which locations might have bad years with what frequency. And about how different milling conditions can change the way a given wheat performs as flour. Believe me, there’s a reason that the American wheat industry had just drifted towards basically throwing all of the nation’s high protein wheat into one big barrel and stirring it up. It may not be brain surgery, but to us it was complicated. The irony is that now, after about fifteen years of working with other bakers, various millers and wheat commissions, some cereal chemists and the Agriculture departments of several universities, we haven’t come up with anything new. We haven’t discovered anything revolutionary. We have simply gotten to the point where we may be re-approaching a level of knowledge and control that should never have become so inaccessible and so peripheral in the first place. I mean, now we know what wheat to look for and where to look for it. What could be more basic to putting any food on the table than that simple skill?
Now, I come from an absurdly affluent little corner of a nation that consumes resources at a ridiculous rate. If any other country dared to use energy at the rate we do, do you think that we’d stand for it? Talk about your pre-emptive strike! So what useful message could I possibly bring to a gathering devoted to sustainability and harmony? Just this: The trends that we have been fighting against are not strictly American trends. In America, we may just be a little farther along this path to oblivion and ignorance. And from that position, it’s extremely hard work to reverse the trend: to swim upstream strongly enough that you feel as though you’re getting anywhere. It’s expensive, too. We a really brilliant person who could probably be doing anything he wanted. He happens to be passionate about baking and makes over a hundred and fifty thousand dollars per year and who often spends as much as a third of his work week dealing with the wheat buyer, and the miller, and the wheat commission, evaluating samples and adapting our processes to the flour as it changes through the year. But this can be done. And if you come from anyplace other than America, it may well be easier for you than it has proven for us. Your system may well still respond to the individual baker. You may get useful information from the first person you ask, rather than having to wait for the tenth. But if you want to know more than you do now about the flour and the wheat that you use, you’ve got to dig your heels in. Because as time passes, the tide of centralization and commoditization will only carry you farther and farther away from the position of knowledge and control that you are going to need to be in as energy supplies dwindle, as transportation costs rise and as local control once again becomes paramount.
In baking as in any other cooking, it turns out that going to the market as an informed buyer benefits everyone in the grower, producer, and consumer chain.
Many thanks to you all and to the city of Torino, and to Slow Food for organizing this event.

Morten Schakenda (Norway)
I am running a small bakery in Norway. It is a small artisan bakery. 100% wood burning ovens, and it is located in a small mountain valley that has had a long tradition for a couple of hundred years, of growing wheat, but mostly barley. This mountain region is located between 3 big mountain ranges. That makes this valley one of the driest places in Northern Europe. And therefore, they have also made water channels/aqueducts down from the glaciers to provide water to the fields. This combination of a lot of sunlight, long summers, very dry climates, and that they could provide the water they needed to make a high quality grain has meant that in a long tradition of high quality grain, especially barley but also wheat production in this valley. I’m a pretty new baker. I have been a chef for 20 years. I did competitions, national competitions, and national teams. I had my own restaurants, but 4 years ago I was tired of the whole restaurant business so I was planning to take 3 to 5 months off, just to do something for myself. So in Norway, we are so lucky that in 1998 there were two guys that started up the first artisan bakery in Norway. There was one French guy that has been an apprentice with one of the best bakers that has been in Lyon and one Norwegian guy that has been an apprentice with an old baker from the old school in Norway, though he also did some of his apprenticeship in Denmark, with the sour dough tradition.
And it ended up being my place of work for 3 and half years, because they opened up a whole new world for me in their bakery. I decided to forget everything that I had learned as a chef about baking and just commit myself to learn everything from these guys. The whole thing ended up with me investing 7-8 hundred thousand US dollars to build a new bakery in this mountain village. 100% wood burning. I have two big brick ovens that have totaled 42-43 metric tons. And I see that the combination that I have with my knowledge of ingredients, olive oils, vegetables, fresh herbs, different flavors, and the combination that I learn as a baker from these two guys in Oslo is a very very good combination when it comes to making a new type of artisan bread.
In Norway, we had the last 20 years, total disaster when it comes to bread. There are 2 things in Norway that are very important in the household. That is the bread and the potato. And those are more or less the two worst things you can buy in the supermarket. The supermarkets use the bread and the potatoes as things to get people to enter the shop. So the only thing they have been doing is to lower the price, lower the price, lower the price for the last 20 years. And we are now 3 or 4 small bakeries in Norway that are actually going the other way.
So when I opened up this bakery people all asked me the same question over and over again. My friends, my family, the bank. Who are your customers? Because this is a small village, we have 2,500 people living there. Maybe 700 in the center, but it is a touristy destination and it is a kind of cross road between the East and West of Norway, so there is a lot of traffic passing through the village. So I said, I don’t know. I need to sell 400-500 loaves of bread a day, and we just have to open up and see who are my customers, because what everybody has done in Norway, is they have made big contracts with supermarkets, with the hotels, with a long distribution line and then when you talk to chefs or you talk to other ones that are supposed to buy your bread, no body is talking about quality. Everybody is asking: “What is the Price for the Bread? What kind of price can you give us?” So I haven’t done any contracts with anybody. I am really new in this business. But it has been for me a dream.
The start of the bakery has been fantastic, I had a line for every day for 6 hours. The first 2-3 months that we were open we would be out of bread. I could not produce enough. And there have been write ups in the newspapers and the radio about this crazy chef that took his family and moved to a small village up in the mountain, to open a bakery. And this is at a time in Norway when all the bakeries are going bankrupt. The only bakeries that are surviving now in Norway are the big factory run bakeries that produce 10, 15, 20 thousand loaves of bread a day. And the small ones, they try to compete in price and after a few years when they have a big contract with a supermarket chain or something like that they go bankrupt. So my goal, what I am working on now, in the valley, is to work with the local farmers. And that is another story. They are not used to think quality wise. There are 2 small mills in the valley, but it is almost impossible to get one farmer to harvest the grain, go to the mill and deliver the flour from that grain to me. I have tried it for two years now and there is only one farmer that is doing the job. The rest of the farmers, they would like to go to the mill, dump their whole production and then get paid for the grain and have that be it. I am not very pleased, but people that are having the same problem as me show me that this is just the way it is and we just have to start working on that issue.
What I would like to do is, two years from now, maybe 70-80% of my flour that is used in the bakery is produced locally. And when I say locally, that is 20 minutes by truck in each direction.

Maurizio Sartori (Italia)
La pizza, questo piatto che in circa 200 anni ha conquistato il mondo, credo debba il suo grande successo al fatto che é uno dei piatti più semplici che una persona affamata possa trovarsi di fronte più o meno ad ogni latitudine. Quando mi si chiede: “Ma che cos’è una pizza”? Io rispondo la pizza non è altro che pane e fantasia, pane e sapienza alimentare, pane e ricerca, pane e buongusto.
Vi sono nel mondo i più svariati modi di guarnire la pizza ma il comune denominatore è questo disco di pasta di pane che viene cotto quale supporto per le nostre guarnizioni diventando a sua volta cibo! Il fatto che la pizza sia divenuta un piatto così popolare non ci deve far dimenticare che può vantare origini antichissime, infatti, quando nell’antico Egitto venivano cotti quei pani schiacciati sui sassi arroventati in qualche modo iniziava la storia e la diffusione della pizza
Il pane schiacciato nella sua evoluzione dalla civiltà egiziana a quella romana, passando da quella greca rimane sempre presente, quale simbolo principe, dell’alimentazione umana. Considerato re degli alimenti assunse nella civiltà romana un’importanza tale che il mestiere di “Pistorem” doveva per legge essere tramandato di padre in figlio e addirittura, se non vi erano figli maschi, ad un eventuale genero e per chi disobbediva era prevista anche la pena di morte.
Fino a questo punto però si parla per lo più di pane. Per arrivare alla pizza così come la intendiamo dobbiamo arrivare nel napoletano alla fine del XV sec. dove già si cominciano a vedere delle focacce guarnite con vari alimenti quali aglio, grasso di maiale, sale grosso, o minutaglia di pesce. Ma ciò che sancisce la pizza moderna è l’arrivo, verso la metà del ‘700, del pomodoro e quasi contemporaneamente la nascita della mozzarella.
In questo periodo storico vi è l’identificazione di questo piatto con il nome pizza. In realtà il termine esisteva già, ma da allora in poi identificherà inequivocabilmente nel mondo quel determinato piatto. Senza raccontarvi di nuovo la storia della regina Margherita, che sicuramente già conoscete, mi preme sottolineare come da allora in poi, nel bene e nel male, la pizza diverrà un emblema dell’Italia, una sorta di primo made in Italy da esportare. Ma proprio perché questo piatto ci rappresenta nel mondo, dobbiamo tutelarne la genuinità e garantirne la tipicità. A tal proposito bene hanno fatto quei sindaci e presidenti di associazioni di Napoli a pretendere di ottenere la P.R.G. (Prodotto Regionale Garantito) per la vera pizza napoletana quale primo passo per la regolamentazione del prodotto pizza da distinguere da tutto quello che viene spacciato come tale ma che in realtà è tutt’altro; potrebbe sembrare una pignoleria lessicale, ma visto che la lingua italiana ci offre una gamma di termini appropriati, usiamoli, e distinguiamo nel tutto le focacce, le schiacciate, le pizze. A questo punto è d’obbligo parlare del bisogno di informazione che tutto questo crea, perché se da un lato i fruitori del prodotto devono essere consapevoli di ciò che mangiano dall’altro e obbligatorio per gli operatori sapere quello che fanno! Ecco che, nel pieno rispetto della filosofia Slow Food, nasce la necessità di salvaguardare la specificità del prodotto di qualità attraverso la formazione tecnico-scientifica degli operatori, perché se da un lato, dai romani in poi, l’arte è stata tramandata di padre in figlio è altresì vero che nel XXI sec. a tutto ciò si può e si deve affiancare lo studio e la ricerca professionale in modo che il famoso segreto del pizzaiolo scaturisca dalla cognizione di causa piuttosto che da qualcosa di vagamente magico!
La conoscenza intima, quindi, da parte dei pizzaioli, di quelli che sono gli ingredienti necessari per fare una buona pizza “digeribile” e le cognizioni basilari per il loro uso sono al primo posto se si vuole intraprendere questa meravigliosa branca dell’arte bianca che ci deve portare anche a promuovere il nostro prodotto quale fulcro della dieta mediterranea, fornendoci un cibo tradizionale, bello, buono, con un apporto calorico bilanciato, come del resto è nella filosofia Slow Food.

Luca Colombo (Italia)
Non farò una presentazione classica, esempi di buona produzione di grano, sono qui a parlare di grano transgenico ovvero di quello che si è fatto in Italia per rispondere alle ipotesi sul fatto che venisse introdotto sul mercato il grano transgenico. Questo che vedete è lo schema del lavoro che noi abbiamo fatto: abbiamo cercato di sollevare il problema in Italia, abbiamo coinvolto una serie di soggetti sindacali per la loro importanza nella filiera agricola - partendo dalla Coldiretti ad arrivare fino alla distribuzione organizzata - e una serie di imprese per cercare di stimolare un dibattito in Italia per mandare dei messaggi di mercato in Nord America, dove c’era il rischio di iniziare la coltivazione commerciale di grano. Il frumento transgenico non è ancora sul mercato, c’è una sola varietà, il frumento Roundup Ready, che è stato notificato dalla Monsanto, ovvero è stata richiesta l’autorizzazione alla produzione nei soli Canada e negli Stati Uniti. La Monsanto si è impegnata con quello che hanno chiamato un pledge, ovvero un impegno a rispettare una serie di criteri minimi primi prima di introdurre sul mercato questa varietà, e questo è dovuto al fatto che in tutto il nord America, nella stessa comunità dei produttori agricoli e della filiera, si è sollevato un acceso dibattito proprio legato alle implicazioni commerciali ed economiche di questo grano. E questa è la reazione, sostanzialmente negativa, che si è registrata in tutto il mondo rispetto a questa prospettiva. Lo stesso Dipartimento dell’Agricoltura degli Stati Uniti ha realizzato un’indagine dalla quale è emerso che praticamente la stragrande maggioranza dei Paesi importatori avrebbero assunto un atteggiamento negativo rispetto alla prospettiva del grano transgenico. Tutto questo ha portato alla decisione di Monsanto, comunicata il 10 maggio di quest’anno, di congelare l’immissione in commercio di grano transgenico. La situazione attuale è che la Monsanto ha ritirato tutte le notifiche per la coltivazione del frumento Roundup Ready in Canada e negli Stati Uniti e per l’importazione e l’utilizzo come granella alimentare anche in Russia, in Sud Africa, in Australia, in Nuova Zelanda. Tutte queste notifiche sono state ritirate tranne una, che è quella presentata presso la Food and Drugs Administration che tra l’altro recentemente ha dato il suo giudizio favorevole rispetto all’impatto sanitario del grano Roundup Ready, anche se questo non ha nessun significato operativo. Naturalmente sappiamo che ci sono ancora tanti campi sperimentali non solo della Monsanto; richieste di sperimentazione sul grano transgenico sono state presentate anche in Europa, la più recente è stata presentata da un’azienda italiana, un centro di ricerca agricolo italiano a capitale pubblico e privato che sta lavorando su prove sperimentali che hanno fatto altrove. Tutto questo per noi ha significato realizzare un progetto che abbiamo chiamato “Grano o Grane”, che si compone di due assi: un primo asse è quello della ricerca, che per noi significa affrontare l’intero campionario delle problematiche che il grano transgenico solleva; l’altro è rivolto all’informazione. La ricerca è stata articolata su tutti gli aspetti che l’azienda transgenica comporta - aspetti economici e di management aziendale (la questione genetica, l’impatto sui sistemi agrari), gli aspetti nutrizionali (food security, come il mondo potrebbe sfamarsi nell’ipotesi in cui il grano diventasse transgenico e soggetto alla brevettazione), sistemi culturali e socio culturali (capire come il grano transgenico potrebbe essere recepito in Italia dove la cultura del grano è stata ben espressa in precedenza). L’altro capitolo del nostro lavoro è rivolto all’informazione, un’informazione che noi vogliamo fornire attraverso un’opera di monitoraggio di quello che accade sul grano transgenico, di scambio di informazioni a livello nazionale e internazionale e ovviamente di offerta di informazioni in primo luogo agli operatori della filiera ma anche all’opinione pubblica in generale.

Gianni Lusignani (Italia)
Buongiorno a tutti, sono titolare di un panificio artigianale in una piccola zona dell’appennino parmense, forse la più piccola valle della provincia di Parma.
Penso di essere stato il promotore della filiera di grani antichi completa a livello nazionale. Ho coinvolto 11 aziende agricole, i mulini (tra i quali un mulino a pietra e un mulino cilindro), la Provincia di Parma, che dà assistenza tecnica al progetto. Siamo nati nel 2000 e in quattro anni abbiamo completato la filiera. Quest’anno ho realizzato dei forni a legna in un nuovo laboratorio. Le varietà di grano antico sono le varietà che vanno dagli anni ’50, quindi tutti quelli della battaglia del grano fino a quelli del 1800. Questa particolarità di grani non è nata dal caso, io sono un panificatore da sempre e dal 1967 io ho iniziato a fare la lievitazione naturale, ho sempre avuto un debole per i pani tradizionali perché penso che in Italia abbiamo la più bella tradizione panaria al mondo e nessuno purtroppo ci ha mai pensato a mantenerla in vita. Si stanno perdendo le tradizioni anche perché è mancata la materia prima. Io ho iniziato con questi grani in piccole quantità, anche minime, perché di alcune varietà avevo 200 grammi di grano, e questa è stata la prima annata in cui ho fatto 2000 quintali di grano. Questi grani hanno una particolarità: che se li paragoniamo ai grani d’oggi non sono panificabili, nel senso che un grano moderno come indice di pianificabilità esprime mediamente 180-200-300 W e siamo arrivati a 500. Io vi sto dimostrando, se volete, che i grani si panificano anche da 50-70 W. Sono i grani della tradizione, sono i grani della nostra storia, che hanno un profumo e che danno l’anima al pane, al nostro pane tradizionale. Quando toglievo il pane dal forno, mi accorgevo che pur avendo la lievitazione naturale, il pane non aveva più l’anima, mancava di profumo. Questi grani mancavano di profumo. Sono molto ricchi di glutine, hanno una forza enorme, sono bellissimi da vedere ma non sanno di nulla. Dagli anni ’50 in poi la ricerca a livello internazionale si è orientata solo sulle richieste dell’industria, perciò grani sempre più forti, una panificazione con farine sempre più forti. La nostra panificazione tradizionale invece era fatta e basata su grani tradizionali autoctoni, poveri di glutine ma ricchi di profumo e di aromi. Tuttora ho una decina di varietà, quelle che ho selezionato per la maggiore, che alla gente piacciono moltissimo. I pani che escono da questa filiera sono tutti marchiati, uno per uno. Spero che questo mio esempio si possa ripetere in altre province e in altre regioni, perché la particolarità della nostra tradizione era dovuta al fatto che da paese a paese noi avevamo la differenza del pane, dovuta alla tipologia di grano piantato, all’acqua diversa, al tipo di ceppo di lievito naturale acido che partiva. Tutto questo patrimonio l’abbiamo perso con l’evoluzione delle industrie. Oggi le micche di pane sembrano palloni da giocare a calcio, senza gusto. Quindici giorni fa mi hanno portato un carico di grano nuovo, che faceva 52 W. Ho richiamato il mugnaio e gli ho chiesto se era sicuro, altrimenti avrei fatto fare un’altra prova, perché io mi chiedo come possa avvenire. La media è di 50-80 W, ho avuto qualcuno che arriva a 100, ma la maggioranza sono lì, bene io vi dico che nei pani tradizionali non c’è paragone, perché quel pane diventerà duro, la sera o il giorno dopo, ma non diventerà mai coriaceo, sarà un pane che sarà semnpre buono fino all’ultimo. Il gusto è completamente diverso, il profumo non si può paragonare. Quest’anno introduciamo il forno a legna. Ma attenzione, il forno a legna, senza una materia prima importante non dice nulla: ci vuole farina importante, perciò farine autoctone che sono legate al terreno del territorio dove uno lavora, l’acqua del posto, e poi il forno a legna è la ciliegina sulla torta. Però io non credo, come molti pensano, di fare dei pani tradizionali con un lievito di birra o una farina qualsiasi. La farina non può essere anonima, deve avere una sua anima, perché è dall’anima della farina che viene fuori il pane buono e si sente il profumo.

Giuseppe Benagiano (Italia)
Mi chiamo Giuseppe Benagiano, vivo in provincia di Bari e appartengo a una famiglia di pastai di quarta generazione. Ho avuto il piacere di avere seduto qui vicino a me un altro grande pastaio della tradizione italiana, Martelli. Mi ha fatto piacere sentire la relazione dell’ultimo signore, perché nella nostra filosofia di produzione della pasta siamo sulla stessa linea: non si tratta di andare a inventarsi l’acqua calda, nel cercare grani straordinari che diano il glutine chissà a quali livelli, o chissà con quali caratteristiche. Noi vogliamo fare un prodotto che non abbia l’aspetto di pasta, ma che abbia una sostanza di pasta, un’anima di pasta, che dia il piacere di mangiarla e la sensazione del benessere dopo, con un suo gusto preciso. Se non torniamo al discorso dei grani autoctoni – in questa zona si possono fare colture di grano con queste caratteristiche - e non torniamo un po’ a fare i discorsi biologici, noi finiremo con l’avere un prodotto pasta massificato uguale per tutti ovunque si va. E temo che questa sarà una cosa che avvilirà tutti noi. Mangeremmo qualcosa che ha l’aspetto della pasta ma che non ci somiglia neanche lontanamente. Sappiamo bene che il grano, la semola, il latte, l’olio, il vino, si possono lavorare in tanti modi. Sono prodotti molto delicati, le prime cose che saltano sono le parti nobili di questi prodotti, se cominciamo a utilizzare delle strutture, degli impianti che devono produrre sempre di più in minor tempo, o se utilizziamo delle temperature di lavorazione o di essicazione che vanno al di là di certi limiti. Io resto sorpreso, sbalordito quando mi trovo di fronte “Pasta biologica” prodotta con deroga al disciplinare. Se c’è un disciplinare per produrre la pasta biologica, dell’Aiab, o di chiunque esso sia, o si rispetta o quella non è pasta biologica. Quando cominciamo a superare di 45°, ci prendiamo in giro, prendiamo in giro i nostri consumatori, questo è poco serio da parte di chi permette queste cose. Noi siamo fortunati perché viviamo in una zona dove si producono grani eccellenti che hanno delle caratteristiche straordinarie, per esempio il grano Cappelli: molti vanno sbandierando l’utilizzo di questo grano per la produzione di pasta. Il grano Cappelli lo utilizzava già mio nonno perché viveva nella zona per eccellenza di quel grano con un glutine e delle caratteristiche uniche e straordinarie. Oggi quel grano non è più lo stesso, è Cappelli ma il glutine non ci permette di fare la pasta solo di grano Cappelli. Parliamoci chiaro, perché non bisogna prendere in giro nessuno. I famosi terreni che sono stati massacrati per più di 30 anni, grano su grano, oggi non ce la fanno più a produrre le cose come le vogliamo noi. Durante una conferenza di agricoltori dissi: “sarò tanto più bravo a produrre la mia pasta quanto tu agricoltore sarai più bravo a fare il tuo lavoro da agricoltore, nel fornirmi una materia prima giusta con le caratteristiche idonee affinchè io possa fare una pasta buona”. Il mio sistema di lavorazione, il mio impegno nel produrla - essicandola a 40-45° perché non deve subire alterazioni né nella fase di lavorazione né nella fase di essiccazione - viene a essere vanificato se l’agricoltore non dà il grano buono. Deve essere sempre un rapporto coordinato tra produttore di grano, mugnaio e pastaio: ognuno deve fare la sua parte e farla in maniera corretta, altrimenti il prodotto finale non è quello che desideriamo.
Siamo sempre stati i primi del mondo nella tradizione di pastai, nessuno ci contesta questo: le nostre famose scuole sono state quella napoletana, quella siciliana, quella pugliese. Noi avevamo un vantaggio rispetto agli altri, che abbiamo alle spalle i cugini mugnai che hanno un’altissima scuola nella nostra zona (in Puglia ci sono fior di mugnai, fior di impianti, sono tutti quasi di terza o quarta generazione). Non vanifichiamo questa tradizione. Torniamo a fare le cose che si sono sempre fatte, e continueremo a conquistare tutti i mercati che vogliamo. Io vi assicuro che il prodotto di qualità ha un fortissimo mercato sempre in espansione. Il prodotto buono è sempre richiesto, ma deve essere buono dall’inizio – agricoltore, mugnaio, pastaio - fino alla fine. E ci vuole sempre la serietà e la correttezza di tutti, presentando al consumatore un signor prodotto.

Donato Silveri (Italia)
Lavoro per l’Agenzia Regionale per i Servizi di Sviluppo Agricolo, un ente pubblico in Abruzzo. Noi abbiamo avviato, da diversi anni, una ricerca sulle varietà autoctone, e tra queste abbiamo individuato una varietà di grano tenero, si chiama solina, che punteggia tutto l’appennino abruzzese, tutta la provincia dell’Aquila, con una piccola escursione al di fuori, comunque sempre zone di montagna. È un grano di cui era rimasta voce nel racconto dei fornai e degli agricoltori perché faceva un pane particolarmente profumato, particolarmente saporito. Abbiamo scoperto che numerosi agricoltori, una decina o qualcuno di più, hanno conservato la coltivazione di questo grano, anche su un ettaro, accanto alle loro produzioni di svariati ettari di grano da commercio. Perché il pane fatto in casa o la pasta fatta in casa con questo grano era un qualcosa di più per loro e quindi in qualche modo se lo sono tenuto. Da questo è nato un interesse più generale, nostro come agenzia, di riproporlo anche come possibile valvola di sfogo, di sviluppo per le zone in cui l’agricoltura era destinata a morire. Quindi abbiamo approfondito le ricerche su questo grano, abbiamo visto per esempio anche con i sistemi moderni, i marcatori molecolari, che questa popolazione, dal nord al sud della regione, sempre zona di montagna, era omogenea, era sostanzialmente la stessa varietà locale che si era comunque conservata. Da questo è venuto fuori anche l’interesse di alcuni trasformatori, in particolare ha iniziato un panificio che ha cominciato anche la commercializzazione di pane di solina e attualmente lo vende, spedendolo via corriere in pagnotte confezionate singolarmente in numerosi ristoranti del centro nord Italia, ovviamente cercando di tirare su il prezzo e questo perché anche in partenza abbiamo impostato il discorso con gli agricoltori per venderlo a un prezzo maggiore. È un discorso che deve dare una risposta economica agli agricoltori, in quanto la solina produce due quintali per ettaro, non di più. Lo produce abbastanza costantemente e resiste tantissimo al freddo, viene abitualmente coltivata fino a 1200-1300 metri e sempre con produzioni costanti, è sensibile un po’ alla carie. Interessante il suo aspetto storico - abbiamo ritrovato documenti del 1500, atti notarili della fiera di Lanciano in cui si parla di compravendita di questo grano - che testimonia un forte radicamento di questa varietà sul nostro territorio.
 
 
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