The Slow Trail of the Salone del Gusto
22 Jul 10
The best way to describe the spaces and new features of the 2010 Salone del Gusto is to follow a virtual trail through the fair.
There are two entrances to the Lingotto Fiere pavilions, one at Via Nizza 280 where the public transportation arrives, and one on the square behind the exhibition center, which can be reached by walking across the red Olympic Footbridge from the Lingotto train station; this is also the easiest solution coming from the parking lots.
Several Slow Food membership points are located on the way to the ticket offices so that visitors can join the association on the spot and take advantage of the discount on the ticket price and the many exclusive offers reserved for members of the association. Slow Food members will be veritable guests of honor at this year\'s event.
Once you have your ticket the tour can begin!
The main entrance to the fair is in Pavilion 5 this year, where visitors are welcomed by the organizers - Piedmont Regional Authority, City of Turin and Slow Food – and by the sponsoring partners of the event - Lurisia, Consorzio per la Tutela dell’Asti docg, Lavazza, Consorzio del Parmigiano-Reggiano, Intesa Sanpaolo and Pasta Garofalo. The Slow Food stand offers a wide range of collectible gadgets and books from the publishing house which can be purchased or browsed in the adjacent lounge area, like in a real bookshop. Slow Food members also have access to comfortable private rooms.
The Salone del Gusto aims to stimulate curiosity and interest. In this spirit, Slow Food Education is... is an area dedicated to educational activities. Quizzes, games, samples and tastings, tailored to different age groups, give visitors a chance to explore the relationships between Food +/= Places. At the end of the trail, participants will be given a guide with useful tips for everyday food shopping.
Young people about to choose their academic career can stop at the stand of the University of Gastronomic Sciences to receive information on degree courses and post-graduate specialization courses at the seat of the university in Pollenzo, a small town an hour outside of Turin, and to meet students who can share first-hand their experience with this unique university model.
Passing through the main door of Pavilion 5 to the main area of the fair, we reach the heart of the exhibition, the great Marketplace of the Salone del Gusto. In Pavilions 1, 2 and 3, the relationship between food and places is expressed in an immediate, tangible way. Exhibitors are no longer divided into theme lanes (sweets, cheeses, grains etc), but according to origin.
A turret-like installation, easily identifiable at a glance, indicates the home area of the producers presenting their specialities. From cheeses to chocolates, from preserves to cured meats, spirits, pasta and fish: the Marketplace showcases the best of local productions, thanks to the regional and international offices of Slow Food. Representatives and members of the association all over the world work on a daily basis to find quality farmers and food producers, help them to access markets and promote their products. It is thanks to them that only the best, handpicked one by one, are present at the Salone del Gusto 2010.
The Italian and international Presidia are not as in the previous years grouped together in a dedicated area, but can be found among the stands of the territory they belong to. More than 200 stalls, recognizable by their orange color and the special graphics, show the results - which can be tasted! - of an agricultural model based on quality, the safeguarding of traditional knowledge and sustainability. Buying good, clean and fair is also possible in our everyday life, thanks to the Earth Markets: they are a network of farmer\'s markets organized by Slow Food and the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, which are meeting places for farmers, artisans and co-producers. The markets will be present in the regional areas at the Salone del Gusto, to introduce themselves and advocate this new, more direct rapport between food production and consumption.
Let\'s take a closer look at what can be seen wandering among the many stands and stalls: Pavilion 1 hosts exhibitors and tasting areas from outside Italy, among which Croatia, France, Iceland, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The Mieli Thun honey producers have set up a recreational tasting area for honeys of producers belonging to the Terra Madre network of food communities.
Beers play a central role this year, and they can be tasted in the American versions, thanks to the involvement of the Brewers Association, and in the British one, in the atmosphere of an authentic pub set up for the event.
Wine is geography, in the broadest sense of the word. Understanding wine, talking about it and tasting it means coming into contact not just with flavor and fragrance, but also with a world of terroirs, landscapes and people. In short, with places. The Enoteca - still in Pavilion 1 - is a space dedicated to quality wine, where visitors can taste the latest vintages and try out new varieties and winemaking areas, choosing from a selection of over 2,000 wines from Italy and the rest of the world. The Slow Wine-Banca del Vino hall, within the Enoteca, is a new feature of the Salone del Gusto 2010: a winebar within the winebar, featuring the finest wines, where wine experts and enthusiasts can choose among 300 old vintages of important wines from the collection of the Banca del Vino, the wine bank of the University of Gastronomic Sciences. Also available are the vini Slow, the wines selected by the new Slow Wine guide of the Slow Food publishing house. In addition, the Slow Wine-Banca del Vino will host exclusive events with the participation of international winemakers and the gastronomic provocations by the creative chef Davide Scabin of the Combal.Zero restaurant in Rivoli (Torino).
Our tour continues through Pavilions 2 and 3 where the Italian food producers are located. From the Alps in the North to the Islands in the South all regions are represented in a kind of gastronomic miniature Italy. The Salone 2010 has been reconfigured also in the location and concept of the tasting areas which are no longer simply identified with the Kitchens and Islands of Taste, but are now managed by each region. A wide choice is offered to visitors who can take their pick among the many variations on the gastronomic theme interpreted locally.
An unusual stop at the entrance to Pavilion 2 is the cocktail bar another new addition to the Salone 2010. A team of professional barmen led by Dom Costa (Liquid, Alassio) and Tommaso Cecca (Trussardi Café, Milan), will be hosting the best bartenders from around the world—including Salvatore Calabrese, Agostino Perrone and Chris McMillian—performing their alcoholic acrobatics and holding courses on the history of mixed drinks. In collaboration with Velier of Genoa.
Leaving Pavilion 3 towards the Oval Pavilion, visitors come across a canopied area which hosts one of the most successful attractions of the Salone del Gusto 2008: the Street Food. There will be booths selling typical street foods from Italy and elsewhere, from Recco foccaccia and Romagna’s piadinas to exotic specialties from China and Iraqi Kurdistan. This is our idea of fast food, found all over the world but never the same: the gastronomic answer to the global homogenisation of tastes.
The Oval Pavilion, besides being the location of the Terra Madre seminars and meetings, also hosts the Taste Workshops. These are the renowned Slow Food guided tasting sessions, all held in simultaneous Italian-English translation. Also the Theaters of Taste take place in the Oval Pavilion, the most direct way to understand and try the signature dishes of international and Italian chefs who will prepare their dishes before the eyes of the visitors, thus lifting the veil of secrecy from their perfect recipes. An even more intimate and welcoming atmosphere characterizes the Meetings with the Makers and Memory Workshops, where you can taste great wines, sample exclusive products and meet great personalities face to face, listening to them telling their stories.
Updates can be found on www.salonedelgusto.it from now on to October 21.