Bold Italian Flavors - Walter Bencini - Italy
Bold Italian Flavors (2006)
Good food, fresh, well prepared and delicious should be a luxury accessible to all. Although refined eateries might be located on the most famous streets of all the big capitals, a true gastronomic sensation is rare to find. Eurochannel invites you along on a sensatory extravaganza as we rediscover old and new flavors, forgotten from times gone by in Bold Italian Flavors.
Bold Italian Flavors is a magazine series presented in an entertaining documentary format. This production reveals the tantalizing results of in depth research into the country's finest cuisine as we guarantee to reignite passions for almost-forgotten flavors. Enjoy the journey on our culinary exploration as we discover small producers of gastronomic excellence who are threatened by industrial agriculture, standardization, and blight.
By going beyond popular and typical ingredients, this documentary offers the perfect opportunity to become familiar with cuisine rarities such as the Zolfino bean, the Zeri sheep –a jewel in Italian gastronomy- among other delicatessen products. Welcome aboard a most enjoyable voyage across Italy's most exquisite cuisine!
Episode 1 – A designer Bean
The Zolfino bean is the stuff of legend on Tuscany's agriculture and cuisine scene, reaching a show-stealing status in recent years like few other products. Rare, highly sought-after and expensive, the bean has even been imitated by poor-quality fakes as though it was a designer handbag. The local farmers have been sewing the beans for many generations, though their cultivation is fraught with difficulties and demands great effort.
Episode 2 - The Tradition of Zeri Lamb
Over the course of the centuries, the Zeri sheep breed has managed to distinguish itself from its other Italian cousins because of forced isolation in remote environments. Despite Zeri lamb being one of the jewels of Italian gastronomy, it found itself at risk of extinction. Fortunately, several local farmers, mostly young people and women, decided to dedicate time, energy and passion to tending and breeding these sheep, developing a small-scale economy and safeguarding a rich heritage of skills and traditions.
Episode 3 – The Chestnut Civilization
Along with grapevines and olive trees, the chestnut tree plays a leading role in Tuscan culture and its beautiful landscape. This large tree has been celebrated for centuries for its delicious nuts and the versatility of its wood, used in everything from agriculture to crafts. Scholars talk about the "chestnut civilization" to emphasize its importance in the daily life of mountain communities.
Episode 4 – Wild Beef
Maremmana cattle roam freely in the Tuscan Maremma, an imposing white breed with characteristic lyre-shaped horns. The cattle can only survive when they have access to large spaces. The herds are tended by cowboys on horseback, who oversee every single one of their farm's cows from birth onwards. Despite the growing demand for Maremmana beef, the few remaining farmers find it impossible to expand their herds, owing to the lack of space available for pasture.