Romagna, we’re by your side!

13 September 2023

Cheese 2023 isn’t just about meadows: as Slow food we want to take the opportunity to extend our solidarity to Romagna, an Italian region hit by terrible flooding this year.

We demonstrate this call for solidarity both at the Emilia Romagna stand in Piazza XX Settembre, where there are activities focusing on the producers and communities affected by the floods and landslides that occurred last May. The stand’s program also includes a journey through the biodiversity of Emilia Romagna and its many forms: from raw milk cheeses to products from the Ark of Taste and Slow Food Presidia, as well as a series of tastings.

The stand hosts producers from Slow Food Presidia (such as Buco Incavato Peach and Cervia Salt) that suffered damage in the floods. There are also some charitable initiatives to raise funds, including beers and ice cream by Giulio Rocci. All tastings in the program will be paired with Romagna wines as part of the “Io Bevo Romagnolo” campaign to support the flood-affected lands, in collaboration with the Tempi di Recupero association.

And that’s not all!

A Taste Workshop in Solidarity

On September 17 at 5 p.m., we host a Taste Workshop, Romagna, we’re by your side! in the Velso Mucci Institute. Leading the workshop are Sergio Diotti of Ossteria in Savignano and Giorgio Clementi of Osteria dei Frati in Roncofreddo, two towns just 11 kilometers apart. Their proximity is not just geographical; it’s rooted in shared ideas and projects, and quite, literally family! At Ossteria, the matriarch is Emanuela Turroni, who came into the restaurant world thanks to a call from the great affineur Armando Brancaleoni. In 2016, Emanuela handed over the management of Osteria dei Frati to her daughter Valentina and son-in-law Giorgio to embark on a new adventure alongside her husband, Sergio.

As for Sergio, he’s not a chef but a retired narrative actor who, with Osteria dei Frati and Ossteria, has made food the protagonist of his storytelling. “I take people on walks to discover the magic nature surrounding us here. We talk about the landscape and the crops that characterize it, from olives to vines, fruit and ancient grains. It’s a beautiful, generous land that excels in many areas.”

Rediscovered breeds

Among the animal breeds, we must mention the Mora Romagna, a pig breed protected by a Slow Food Presidium. With the spread of industrial farming, it was largely abandoned because it grows much more slowly than the omnipresent Large White breed and, paradoxically, because of the higher fat content in its meat compared to leaner breeds. Its meats are flavorful, tender but firm, and somewhat fatty. Its been used to achieve outstanding resulsts in the production of premium cured meats such as culatello. But even traditional home cooking methods (roasts, braciole, skewers) are enough to bring out the flavors and aromas, rich and complex, of this “rediscovered” meat.

The Ossteria in Savignano and Osteria dei Frati

The meat of the Mora Romagna pigs features in several dishes prepared by the two osterias at Cheese.

The landscape as protagonist

Cheese shopping

The philosophy of the establishment is simple and straightforward, shared by many venues featured in the Osterie d’Italia guide and by many cooks in the Alliance. The local area is the start of the show, both in terms of food and wine.

In addition to the Mora pig, we’d like to mention the local cheeses aged and raised by Renato Brancaleoni of La Fossa dell’Abbondanza, like cerato di mucca, which ages under a layer of beeswax, with a slightly granulated and tangy paste, featuring honeyed and spicy notes. Or the Cafffiero by Fosse Brandinelli. This cow’s milk cheese is produced according to the ancient Venetian cheesemaking art and, thanks to forage rich in blossoms from the area around the Dolomites of Belluno, has distinctive sensory characteristics. After over 12 months of aging in conditions of stable temperature and humidity, Cafffiero undergoes further anaerobic aging in the Sogliano cellars of Fosse Brandinelli for another 90 days.

Another highlight is the Santarcangelo Water Onion, an Ark of Taste product. For many residents of the area, onions represented an important form of sustenance for a long time. The people of Santarcangelo were called “cipolloni” (big onions) by their neighbors in Rimini because they were famous for cultivating these onions in large quantities.

This is the Romagna we bring to Cheese: a beautiful, generous, biodiverse land that is getting back to its feet.

by Silvia Ceriani, [email protected]

Cheese 2023 is organized by Slow Food and the City of Bra from September 15-18. See you there! #Cheese2023

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