Farmers, academics, researchers, and members of the public will gather in Bologna this weekend as the city becomes host to Pasta Madre, Slow Food’s two-day event focusing on bread, pasta and cereals. Taste workshops, markets and conferences will be held over Saturday and Sunday, with an aim to educate and celebrate good, clean and fair examples of these foods.
Demonized by fad diets, transformed almost beyond recognition by food technology, and increasingly found on supermarket shelves in pre-sliced square loaves, bread has morphed from a traditional and simple food to one that is often highly processed and is contributing to the health hazards of a modern diet, the event’s organizers explain. With the advances in food production technology over the past several decades, the skills of artisan producers, passed down over centuries, have become overlooked and resulted in a loss of many varieties of breads, pastas and cereals. Pasta Madre aims to provide participants with a thorough understanding of these staple foods, from the cultivation of cereals in organic and biodynamic farming, to artisan techniques of baking, preparation throughout the production chain, and a focus on nutritional, agricultural, anthropological and sensory aspects.
The weekend’s program will feature a series of meetings focused on the theme of bread and welcome input from a number of international figures. Guided educational tastings, called Taste Workshops will allow participants to discover traditional products, such as home-made pasta, the authentic Roman piadina, an unleavened flatbread, Bolgonese puff pastry, and many others. The event will also offer a series of workshops for children and a market where visitors can taste and buy specialties directly from the producers.
Pasta Madre is organized by Slow Food Bologna and the Associazione per la Pedagogia Steinerian in collaboration with the Association for Biodynamic Agriculture and with the support of the Province of Bologna.
For more information (in Italian): Slow Food Bologna www.slowfoodbologna.it