Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

The Rural festival had a successful Tuscan debut. The event is an expedition/market, born in the hills of Parma and dedicated to the production of farms and breeders of antique varieties of animals and vegetables.

There was great satisfaction for producers, organizers and visitors which confirms that the constant efforts of the Rural movement to bring organic excellence is a success.

The pairing of the two cities worked out well. The debut in the town of Gaiole in Chianti couldn’t have been better. In the two days of the fair, Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18, in the Piazza and along the main streets, thousands of people gave homage to biodiversity. Gaiole has had a famous market since the middle of the 1200’s and is a center of wine tourism.

Not only local visitors and Tuscans participated, but many arrived from other provinces. There were many foreigners also present as well. The fair was a triumph of perfumes and tastes from the tens of products originating from plants and animals which have been recently been affected by modern industrialization.

Many pavilions hosted products of farmers and breeders which were chosen and were representative of antique breeds of animals and various fruits and vegetables from Tuscany and Emilia Romagna: typical legumes from Tuscany like the Zolfino bean, mini coconut, and pink garbanzo, cheeses made from Massa sheep, black bread made with antique grains, polenta Formenton,  focaccia with grapes, extra-virgin olive oil Seggianese, (delicate, the perfect equilibrium between bitter and spicy, well liked by children), fresh pasta and dry, testaroli from Lunigiana, prosciutto and porchetta from Sienese pigs, red potatoes from Cetica (ideal for gnocchi), wines from grapes like Mammolo, Cilegiolo, Pugnitello, Sanforte, Colorino, Malvasia Nera, Canaiolo e Fogliatonda, pure Sangiovese and holy wine from Chianti Malvasia.

Representative of Emilia were products rich in tradition, with some unknown varieties: prosciutto from black pigs, yogurt and cheese from rare races of the Appennine mountains, Miracle wheat with which a special bread is made, donkey milk, and ice cream and products from donkey milk, Tortel Dols filled with fruit, white watermelon and Riccio tomatoes, an historic cultivation of the Parma valley, entire cycles of vegetables produced fresh and transformed into paste…sweet and easily digested.

Preserves without sugar made from Zucchella prunes,Tiglio honey, wines like the historic Fortana del Taro and Lambrusco. In a different area there was a very good presentation of antique fruit, curated  by Professor Enzo Melegari of the association of farmers and breeders of Parma, and plants of antique varieties exhibited by a Tuscan farm.

But the Rural festival isn’t only food: like the Parma edition, in another area there was a space especially suitable for children, dedicated to animals of antique races displayed in their white enclosures: the swine from the Sienese Cinta, the Cornigliese, Massese and Garfagnina pig, the Romagnolo and Amiatino donkey, the Chianina cow, the Massese sheep, the Garfagnina goat and the Valdarnese hen. There were also lessons and a treasure hunt as well as workshops for bread, pasta, and bees.

There were tractors produced between the 1930s and 1950s coloring the streets, interesting for the little ones, especially when they were started up. The visitor was introduced to the rural world and its diverse facets, involving him with songs and dances of tradition, which animated the streets of town.