I have recently returned from Villaggio Coldiretti, a village organized by the Coldiretti, the Italian farmers’ association, held in Milan and what a great trip it was. Not only the weather was great, maybe a bit too hot, but the food and the wine were simply beautiful and then the location, more than the venue, Castello Sforzesco and its park, in the heart of Milan, only a few minutes away from the Duomo, with its green and tranquility.
The Villaggio Coldiretti is organized every year, this was my first visit and won't be the last, and showcase small farmers and producers from all over Italy, from Sicily to Aosta Valley, everyone showing their produce. There were hundreds of stalls divided into regions and I visited every single one, what a fantastic journey through the Italian flavours. The villaggio was also an opportunity for me to learn more about some of the most famous Italian products, from Parmigiano Reggiano to Grana Padano, from saffron to buffalo mozzarella.
The villagio was Italian food and wine at its best, an Italian food and wine version of the “Italia in miniatura”, the theme park where all Italian architectural beauties and monuments are represented in a small scale. From the nduja calabrese to the Tuscan honey to the porchetta abruzzese, all Italian delicacies were represented and wine, plenty of wine, from the Passito di Pantelleria to the Sforzato della Valtellina. A joy for the eyes and the palate.
The producers attending the events were small, people with passion, knowledge, expertise, third, forth generations, Italy at its best. If only Italian politicians had the same principles and ethic of these producers, Italy would be a much better place to live but better not to get into politic, even though all politicians showed their faces during the event promising support and understanding for the hard working Italian farming community.
With me there were other international visitors that, not being Italian as I am, had been little exposed to the real Italian food and wine and all agreed that “Once you taste the real thing, everything else is tasteless”.
Good food, and good wine, not only taste better, but provide our body with all it needs to work, from vitamins to proteins. Industrial food, whilst it may be cheaper, it is not only packed with preservatives but also plenty of sugar or salt creating addictions and having a negative impact on our health, from obesity to serious health problems. It is only a few days old the news
that bacteria were found in supermarket meat sold under “Red Tractor assured” label, along with RSPCA-assured products.
At Italyabroad.com importing healthy and natural products has always been one of our pillars, from gluten and lactose free, bacteria fee meats
to extra virgin olive oil
, to raw and organic honey
; we are all about small, independent producers.
The Villaggio is an itinerant event, it travels along Italy, so next time you are in Italy check if there is one near you and if there is, make sure you find some time on your agenda to visit it.