[visit] Salone internazionale del gusto: The ark of taste

9 December 2014

Il Salone del Gusto welcomes one of the most important stages for high quality agribusiness manufacturers and artisans from all over the world. Our MBA Food and Wine students had the opportunity to taste in person the real passion for the food and wine sector. Look what the say about it…

The Salone del Gusto event was an exceptional display of the Slow Food movement, both from Italy and from all over the world.
The event was not only well promoted and attended but also provided greater insight into the vastly diverse food products available throughout Italy. Each product represented, whether well or lesser known, showed true, high, artisanal qualities. Many exhibitors displayed evident passion for their products and were readily available to give information about their facilities, production processes and products. Quite rightly the emphasis was always on Italian based products, however attendance by both local and international producers allowed for representation from all sides, which led to a richer overall experience.
The international pavilion also gave a chance to local (and foreign) producers to learn more about how Slow Food operates in other countries. It was interesting to see education and the role it plays being given active mention. The University of Gastronomic Sciences, which has a strong partnership with Slow Food, was promoting the students’ own productions. Emphasising such a hands-on learning culture surely can only boost the motivation and inspiration of students specialising in food & wine related courses.
Exhibitors were well organized and structured in their presentations. Vendors from different regions promoted their products via the distribution of communication materials while representatives of local communities also had the opportunity to take part in the event. The number of people in attendance was rather breathtaking and it is to the credit of the organizers that they have built up such large interest over the years. At times people were not able to access certain exhibitors due to the crowds. However, this just goes to show the enthusiasm with which people are embracing the Slow Food way of thinking.

Salone Del Gusto/Terra Madre and the Slow Food philosophy has become the counterpart of the popular concept of “gourmet.” However, the difference that we have witnessed is that Slow Food has tried to avoid culinary clichès and superficial levels of understanding by educating us about the culture behind the food. The aim is to relate us with the people, their lifestyles, products, production and projects that all combine to create the end product. It promotes a different approach towards food, not as a mere object of trade and consumption but as a culture with respect for territory, traditions and people. This event represents the fact that there are different projects besides the mass produced and poorly informed media driven ones that objectify food as goods or simply as an aesthetic indulgence.

Food itself is a vital good. Without it we could not survive, but the approach to how we produce and consume it can certainly be changed for the better. It is possible to create a community through food and to bring together people from all over the world in celebration of this simple yet essential good. This is the main objective of Salone Del Gusto/Terra Madre which has been able to combine the best Italian gastronomical philosophies together – maintaining traditions, respecting the product and yet still making a business out of it

written by Nicoletta Aquaro and Magda Strydom (class 2014)



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