08 Jul 05
The first-year students of the University of Gastronomic Sciences will be on regional stages from July 11-22. The destinations: Puglia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Italy, France, and Portugal.
13 students will travel to France, which, along with Portugal, is the University’s first non-Italian stage destination. Here they will discover the finest products from the Rhône Valley.
During the first week of the stage, the students will be staying with wine producers in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a village with a centuries-old winemaking history.
Michel Blanc, Slow Food Convivium leader and director of the Fédération des Syndicats de Producteurs de Châteauneuf-du-Pape, has helped organize the stage, which will take students from Châteauneuf to Avignon, ‘the city of the popes’, from Provence to Luberon, from Montélimar to Tain l’Hermitage. On the way, they will learn about the region’s traditional products: Banon cheese, Valrhona chocolate, Arnaud Soubeyran’s nougat and, above all, the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Luberon and Baux de Provence. The trip will include a visit to the famed wine producer Michel Chapoutier in Hermitage.
The principal theme of the stage in Puglia will be the region’s emerging native grape varietals such as Negroamaro, Primitivo and Malvasia Nera. The group of students will analyze vineyard operations and systems of cultivation, winemaking and aging techniques in order to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of Puglian wines.
Trips are planned to the Antico Pastificio Cavalieri pasta factory (already one of the University’s Learning Centers) and traditional bakeries. Olive oil is also central to the program as it plays a key role in the local agricultural economy (Puglia produces almost half of Italy’s entire olive oil output. Next the group will move on to fish with a stop in Gallipoli to see its violetto crayfish auction and learn about the town’s rich maritime history.
During their time in Puglia the students will also study the celebrated Mediterranean diet, especially the use of vegetables and legumes and their nutritional importance. They will finish with a day dedicated to traditional sweets, from almond paste to quince jam, from almond-stuffed figs to bocconotti leccesi. This stage has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of the Lecce Provincial Authority.
Another group of students will travel to Portugal, where they will be based in the city of Porto close by the Douro Valley, the historical homeland of the fortified wine Port. This stage has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of the IVDP, the Douro and Porto Wine Institute, the agency that helps safeguard Portugal’s invaluable wine heritage. The hills that rise steeply along the banks of the Douro River have been terraced with vines for almost two millennia, forming the perfect backdrop for students to learn about every aspect of the land and its wines, from native grape varietals to unique microclimates.
The full program includes a study of bacalhau (salt cod) and some Portuguese Slow Food Ark of Taste products, including Aveiro salt and cornbread. The bustling Bolhão market and the Cod Museum are also on the itinerary. The students will have the chance to participate in a series of seminars and tastings of local DOP and IGP products with representatives of the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture.
In Friuli Venezia Giulia, the students will be hosted by the Regional Department of Agriculture and a number of producers in the region. They will be able to sample some of local products on-site and deepen their historical and gastronomic knowledge of this fascinating land.
The stage begins in Aquileia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but will move on to encompass the importance of maritime culture in the area. The fundamental role of wine and its heritage in Friuli Venezia Giulia will be analyzed through a series of lessons on the cultivation of vines and winemaking, with visits to renowned local wineries as well as a class on grappa and other spirits.
The study of the region’s rich meat traditions will include a visit to San Daniele del Friuli for prosciutto and Palmanova for goose salami and foie gras. Next will come Montasio cheese and the local balsamic vinegar. The tour will be rounded off with a visit to the fish market near the Marano lagoon.
For more information and detailed programs:
University of Gastronomic Sciences Communications Office
Paolo Enria, email@example.com, +39 0172 458507
Carla Ranicki, firstname.lastname@example.org, +39 0172 458519