This past month, global delegates gathered for our bi-annual Slow Food International meeting in Turin, Italy. We were brought together for a common goal, the pursuit, celebration, and the discovery of possibilities surrounding pure food. With my love being all things pumpkin, I searched the halls of Terra Madre Salone Del Gusto with a keen eye for all things relating to la zucca. As I looked around, I participated in workshops, culinary classes, and symposiums relating to seed saving and issues involving biodiversity, and more. I was reunited with farmers, seed savers, and chefs, who all spoke the global common language of food.
In September, festival plans are being made throughout the Piedmont region of Italy, as well in other areas of central Europe’s “pumpkin belt.” Fernando and his associates at the food truck offered me a snack, and invited me to come to their region’s celebration at the end of October. It turns out that Fernando will be making his regionally famous pumpkin strudel. They pushed a plate of squash bloom fritters my way as a gift for a fellow pumpkin fan.
A sort of solidarity exists for those who appreciate the humble vegetable in it’s many varied forms. My pumpkin dappled business card best illustrates my love of this vegetable upon introduction. Immediately, the images of pumpkin break through any language barriers, and connect me with the people of these agricultural communities.
In the weeks ahead, I will be travelling from the North to the South of Italy in search of all aspects of squash, from culinary usage, to celebrations of biodiversity. I hope you will follow along with me as, I search the country from top to bottom on the “pumpkin trail of Italy”