Do what you love
Do what you love …the picture has been taken in Pila (Valle d’Aosta) close to the Alpine Pasture; it is a series from the project De la vache à la fontine.
A surreal calm surrounds these places, which resist the changes of time, proudly continuing with their antique traditions. There are two protagonists in the thousand year old history of the Valle d’Aosta tundra: man and cow. The ancient practice of fontina cheese making is passed down from father to son, and still today solitary and silent shepherds show the next generation, who are now mainly Moroccan immigrants, consequently rewriting history into a genuine multi-cultural society, translates them into richness for man and his land.
Working days repeat themselves cyclically during the season when the cows are brought out for mountain pasture for a period that lasts from May to September, while during the winter they rest in the cowsheds placed down in the dales, where a milder climate and a forage based on hay ensure that the cheese gets that unique flavor and nutritional characteristics. When the milking of all cows ends it’s the turn of milk processing; the milk is put in huge copper pots and the rennet is used to thicken it. After 45 minutes in this coagulation process the milk changes status and you can see lots of lumps, like the cottage cheese. Then this lumpy milk is warmed up to 40°C until it becomes a oft cream. This soft dough is then transferred in circular containers in order to be put under pressure and release all liquids left. Then the rounds of cheese are aligned on wood boards to mature in big cellars dug in the mountain rocks.
Hundred liters of milk are used to make a round of fontina, creating a tight relationship like the one between man and cow…de la vache à la fontine.
More pics here
Sunny Onions from Montoro.
The onion of Montoro is a native variety from the plains of Montoro, between the provinces of Avellino and Salerno in the region of Campagna in southwestern Italy. It is seeded at the end of summer or beginning of autumn and is harvested at the beginning of the following summer. If kept in a fresh, well-ventilated area, it can be stored up until March of the following year. This bulb has been a food source for generations in the area who experienced food shortages due to global conflicts. It was a food of survival, eaten with bread, when it was available. With a slightly flattened globe shape, the Montoro onion’s skin features shades of purple internally and reddish or copper externally. The taste is sweet, and it is intensely aromatic. It is excellent in any culinary preparation; it can be eaten both raw, in an innumerable variety of salads, and cooked in preparations such as soups, sauces and side dishes. It can be prepared in the oven dressed lightly with a splash of olive oil and a pinch of pepper to highlight its aroma and flavor. It is often served with pasta in a sauce of ‘Genovese ragu,’ typical of local countryside cuisine. The historical production area is between the provinces of Avellino and Salerno, in the territory of the Irno Valley, centering on the towns of Montoro Inferiore and Montero Superiore. Today, however, a move towards industrialized agriculture in this area means that this classic local variety is being cultivated less and less.
The Foundation’s projects are tools to promote a model of agriculture that is based on local biodiversity and respect for the land and the local culture, is in harmony with the environment and aims to provide food sovereignty and access to good, clean and fair food for all communities.