One of the European Commission's Best PracticesThe project, considered one of the European Commission’s best practices, is aimed at promoting the intercultural dialogue among “people living” in the Union meant for the construction, in Europe, of a “pluralistic and dynamic society”; moreover, it is aimed at favouring the possible contribution given by “diverse cultures and expressions of cultural difference” to the endorsement of traditions and lifestyles of the member states’ citizens. In this context, the idea of a “European Festival of local food” corresponds to a proposal centred on the “cultural difference in the European integration process”, aimed at highlighting the several practices of production, transformation and distribution of agricultural products that, in many European rural areas, represent vital alternatives to the growing homologation linked to the paradigm of a global and industrialized agriculture. So, as to the eco-gastronomy theme, the “European festival of local food” wants to create a festive occasion of intercultural dialogue that, through an active European citizenship, may also favour the research of a European identity of different dimensions and aspects linked to a community belonging. Therefore, one of the main purposes of this event is the acknowledgement and mutual respect of traditions, cultures and civilizations with regard to the enhancement of the common roots of European populations. An important objective of the “European festival of local food” is to gather young people coming from different areas in a South-Italy rural village currently unpopulated and abandoned, with the aim of playing an active role in the conservation of local traditions and cultures, environmental protection and biodiversity preservation.
The LocationIn the village, the degraded and abandoned rural buildings will be recovered. In this way there will be areas for residences, meetings, exhibitions and shows, while all culinary activities will take place through the use of mobile kitchens and suitable equipped areas for food service.
First stage of the project - Recovery of the village
In particular, the “European festival of local food”, also by recovering this village called Cotugno, is aimed at promoting the local quality food through the spread, in a festive atmosphere, of culinary recipes belonging to the Euro Mediterranean farm culture, underlining the importance of the pluralism of communities constituting a unitary European identity centred on common historical and cultural experiences and on shared values.
Costs - European Food Festival
Second stage of the project - European Food Festival
June/August 2017After the first stage of the project, namely the recovery of abandoned buildings and properties, the event will start. It will be possible to take part in it as public in general, as exhibitors of typical products or as citizens that on this occasion will be real chef ambassadors of typical local recipes. The exhibitors of typical products will go with young people that will prepare recipes belonging to the culinary traditions of their different countries of origin.
The companies will show their products in apposite stands arranged to suitable welcome the visitors both in terms of comfort and of support for language translation; the companies suggesting the tastings through their typical recipes will transmit their traditions and culture by dealing with the following aspects:
- history of the company’s country of origin;
- Naturalistic and agronomic features of the territory and description of the productive method;
- Architectural, landscape and environmental urgencies.
We are in the ’70 s, in the village of Cotugno the farm life is full and the village families are working in the fields. Even if it is a hard life, it is authentic and genuine since the sense of sacrifice is characterized by a true and caring sociality.
This picture was taken by my uncle who sent it to my father and mother that had emigrated, like many other couples, to San Gallo, in the beautiful and reach Switzerland . Our grandparents, uncles and aunts were everything to us in Cotugno, their love and care compensated for the forced and sad absence of our parents.
Near the Jumara, we used to spend our summers by magically chasing a great variety of butterflies, fishing or looking for goldfinch’s, blackbirds’ and magpies’ nests. In that natural game room we got tired and were very hungry, so we used to eat the genuine products from our land and from our farm animals.
To have a sausage or a home-made brawn put in vases with lard was a feast for all the children.
In the village school we had our mixed class, in fact I remember I was attending the first year at the primary school in the same classroom of the fifth year students.
Then the earthquake came and it delivered the final blow to the old village, so we left but our grandparents and some aunts and uncles remained there.
It was always a joy to have lunch with our grandmothers in Cotugno until the time when I graduated in architecture; we used to have homemade pasta as the famous triilli or orecchiette, dressed with rabbit meat sauce raised with grass and oats.
Not to mention the large-size chicken or old hen cooked for hours over low heat in a pan put on coal. When I came back from Naples, I used to ask my grandmother Filomena to prepare pizza made with corn flour called “paisana”, to distinguish it from the widespread genetically modified corn flour. I can still remember that fragrance of the beans cooked in the pot near the fire together with the pork rind raised by my grandmother.
This heritage of flavours, colours and people has disappeared because the village today is completely unpopulated and abandoned. Once 100 to 150 people lived here and in the centre of the village there was a wood-oven in common for families where, on the near steps, we young boys used to wait for the bread just taken out of the oven and then the hot pizzella given by the homemakers. That oven was demolished in the early ‘90s, when reconstruction represented for Irpinia not only a real destruction of values and identities but also an occasion to carry out disfigurements and damages to the architecture of the small but respectable villages.
So, before the full collapse of everything, I thought to ask for your help.
Thank you for your time and interest, we’ll meet at the festival.
Thank you for your interest in our plan. You can contribute to the success of our project by offering one or more tiles to recover the village.
The tiles will be used to cover the rooms intended for the kitchen laboratories.
As you can see from the following picture and from the video in this section, your tile will be personalized and it will bear your signature, your town and your country.
The counter shows the bookings received. The aim is to reach contributions for 4000 tiles.
PLEASE NOTE: Only after reaching 4000 contributions, you will be contacted and invited, WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION, to make your donation. For each contribution two tiles will be made, one of which will be sent to you to thank you.
It will be possible to make your donation via PayPal and, in order to personalize your tile, you can send your personal information by attaching your signature or logo in .jpg format to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
After reaching 4000 contributions, we will send you a report describing how the funds will be used.
Book now your tile
By filling in the following form, you can book your tile. The booking is not binding as to the donation. You will be contacted with invitation to donate only if 4000 tiles are booked and then you can decide to donate or not.