In recent days a conference was held in L’Aquila on the meaning of “local food”. Professors, industry experts, chefs, journalists and enthusiasts wondered about the meaning of this term. Yes, why in the world of today, is the idea of ?”local” still valid? And how does it differ from the term “traditional”? And what do we mean by local food: something related to the land or to the tradition? Or to both? To get a broader picture, philosophers, sociologists, microbiologists, historians, producers, chefs and journalists took part in a stimulating conversation. Everyone has their say, because there is always a tendency to look only from one’s own window, this way instead the view has widened and so have the many different ideas.

The debate
Andrea Borghini, a philosopher from the University of Milan who has been studying this subject for years, had the idea of ??bringing everyone together in this wonderful city in Abruzzo. Three days of intense discussion and debates on the languages ??of identity. We can find local food in the land, but also in communities, in public value, language and innovation. And so far we can all agree, but maybe we need models to be able to think about the local food of the future. Because the world is constantly evolving and it is an illusion to think that the local, or traditional, is immune to these changes. This is first of all for a totally natural reason: let’s take for example ancient wheats, the varieties that farmers are replanting today: are they really identical to those of the early twentieth century? Environmental conditions or production techniques have changed, so does it make sense to think about local / traditional food as unchanging? A bit anachronistic, when one comes around to think about it. And again, if production processes can (or must) be improved, does it make sense to leave everything “as it is” in the name of tradition? The world evolves and with it all that is around us, we must always keep that in mind. Four round tables have tried to deepen the topic from four different points of view: perspectives, justice, innovation, and taste. Round tables under the banner of discussion and exchange of opinions that have brought out many topics to be studied in the future since the topic is very interesting and yet to be discovered.

The chef and the brewer
The starred chef Willam Zonfa, from the restaurant La Papale de L’Aquila, and Luca Liberale from the micro-brewery Opperbacco di Notaresco in the province of Teramo also gave their idea of local food. Zonfa explained his dish “the castratissimo”, to demonstrate to the audience how tradition can be renewed. A recipe from when he was a child, the mutton cooked for a long time in tomato sauce (a bit like a Neapolitan ragù), transformed, innovated in appearance and consistency without losing its original taste. He made a careful work on ingredients, cooking, and presentation of the dish to move the past into the future. Luca Liberale, a young brewer with plenty of energy, described his beer, in his land, with all the passion of those whose land flows through their blood. He told of a wine beer. That’s right, his wine beer, made with Trebbiano and Montepulciano grapes to innovate in tradition. And of hop crops in Abruzzo, a generous land that accepts this challenge.

And so …
This open window on local products and on the innovation that can be undertaken with them is a beautiful synthesis between past and future with us in our midst. We, who torment each other over the sense of “local food”, perhaps for fear of losing it or in the hope of not losing sight of the right principles that allow us to make it so. We would like to think of a journey through Italy, to discover the meaning of this term, local, which in the long and “biodiverse” Italy is a world to be discovered.

Beatrice Serini Giovanni Ceccarelli Andrea Borghini Giacomo Zara Ester Cois Matilde Pileri William Zonfa Luca Liberale Martina Liverani Marilena Budroni Luigi Cataldi Madonna Andrea Baldini Manuela Cornelii Nadia Gabriele Anna Pacchi Simone Gozzano Fabrizia Aquilio Donatella Donati Allen Grieco Cain Todd Nicola Piras Rita Salvatore Patrik Engisch

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