Slow Food Presidia

Come and meet the producers and fishers of the Slow Food Presidia at the Slow Fish Market!

Worldwide, there are 32 Presidia protecting marine species, traditional seafood preparations and sustainable fishing methods.

Camogli tonnarella Presidium. Photo: Konstantin Gebser

At Slow Fish 2019, there are Presidia from across Italy. First off, Campania,:

  • Menaica Anchovies, captured using an ancient fishing technique which survives through these fishers – no more than seven or eight boats – who go out to sea at night with nets (both boats and nets are called menaica or menaide). The anchovies are conserved in salt and left in fresh, humid warehouses where the boats used to be stored before the port was built. Here the anchovies mature, but without drying out, for at least three months.
  • Cliento Cracked Salella Olives are grown in a landscape which has been characterized by the presence of olive trees since time immemorial, and where a variety of unknown origin is found. This is the Salella, also known by locals as the lioi, licinella, monticedda or salentina. The oil from this olive is extremely balanced, with light notes of bitter and spice, with a herbaceous sensory profile and a hint of almond.

From Emilia Romagna:

  • Traditional Marinated Comacchio Valleys Eel are cooked on skewers and stored in brine in wooden containers called zangolini. The secret is in the cooking and the raw ingredient: the wild eel of the valley. The composition of the brine is also important: the recipe calls for 70 grams of Cervia artisanal sea salt and a cup of water for every liter of white wine vinegar. The eel processed in this way maintains its sensory characteristics for months, and while caught in winter, is traditionally eaten at Easter.

  • Cervia Artisanal Sea Salt, gathered in the Camillone salt pan according to traditional methods. For 15 years, every day, the waters of the salt pan produce a “sweet” salt with excellent characteristics, as it’s obtained from waters that never have a salt content higher than 28.5 Baumè. The salt is dried naturally.

From Piedmont we have the Ceresole d’Alba Tench, a tiny production, just six tons annually, compared to 50,000 tons of trout raised in Italy every year. A relative of carp, barbel and chub, this tench has a rounded back and golden skin, hence the name “gobba dorata”, meaning “golden humped.” The fish has been farmed for centuries in ponds in the Pianalto di Poirino, where the provinces of Turin, Cuneo and Asti meet.

From Sicilia there’s the Magghia Masculina fished in the Gulf of Catania, from Capo Mulini to Capo Santa Croce, in the town of Augusta. A protected part of the sea in the Natural Reserve of the Cyclopean Isles, it is crossed every day by small fishing boats. According to the season, they catch garfish, bass, tuna, mackerel, goatfish and of course, the masculina. The fishers also call them anciuvazzu or anciuvurineddu. The Presidium unites eight fishermen from the local cooperative, who have been fishing, processing and directly selling their catch for years.

OLIVE OIL

It wouldn’t be Slow Fish without the Italian Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, representing the immense heritage of olive trees, farmers and olive-pressers that populate the peninsula right down to the southernmost islands–is experiencing a moment of extreme difficulty. The crisis is linked to the process of industrialization of olive cultivation, with the creation of new mechanized plants and increasingly technological processes, which have made oils of quality no longer competitive. For this reason Slow Food has created a national Presidium that promotes the environmental, landscape, health and economic value of Italian extra-virgin olive oil. It is a national project because producers of extra-virgin all over Italy, in different areas of production, face the same critical situation.

The Wadden Sea Traditional Fishers. Photo: Fokke van Saan.

There are international Slow Fish Presidia arriving too:

  • from the Netherlands, the products of Wadden Sea Traditional Fishers, where each fisher is specialized in a different technique and works with a limited number of species. They catch flathead mullet, bass, smelt, halibut, crabs and mussels.
  • from Norway, the Cured and Smoked Sunnmøre Herring, including silver herring, golden herring and hard cured herring, produced by a family business, the Njardar, in the fishing village of Naeroy, along the fjords of Norway’s northwest coast.
  • don’t miss the Natural Breton Oysters from France! To find them you’ll have to go the exhibitor’s area in Piazza Caricamento. Here you can learn more about this perfect expression of marine terroir (marroir?), that develop a particular flavor depending on the salt content, the water temperature, the force of the tides and the currents.

Beyond the exhibition areas, the Slow Food Presidia are protagonists in Taste Workshops (Catania’s Anchovies, The Lagoon and the Sea, Nets and Bubbles from Lake Iseo, The Bounty of a Tuscan Lagoon) and meetings in the Slow Fish Arena. In A Voyage Around Italy, you can meet the fishers of Camogli, who can count Slow Food among their biggest fans.