From January to June 2018, 21 students from the bar and kitchen staff course at ENAIP Vocational Training Centre in Primiero (IT) attended a very special course to delve into the links between food and landscape and learn how to highlight them when preparing and presenting a dish.
The course Dal Piatto al paesaggio (From the Dish to the Landscape), developed by Trentino School of Management together with ENAIP professors, focused on Botìro di Primiero, a butter produced in summer only from high pasture raw cream without the addition of lactic acid bacteria. The 4 steps of the course presented food and landscape as the outcomes of the practice of the territory, that is of the know-how and lifestyle shared by the local community. As people adapt to current circumstances and come to terms with their history and identity, the practice of the territory changes and so do the food and the landscape.
Three different steps let this link emerge, together with the cognitive, affective and experiential dimensions of the landscape.
1) Life story: a 16 year old boy from the 1930's explained his own environment, eating habits and the socio-economic meaning of the Botìro through pictures and texts. The students were brought to identify in the narrator thus feeling more vividly the changes the landscape and society have undergone in the last century.
2) Ethnographic documentation: ethnographic documentaries, images, interviews were used to delve into present dynamics. This qualitative approach, once again centred around people’s daily lives, reveals the “elementary patterns of behaviour” which are best illustrated by observation of repeated gestures than by descriptions.
3) Visit to the places of production: a visit to the places where the product is made let students experience the living working spaces, the production landscape, the various forms of economic and social relationships associated to cheese and butter making in the dairy, in the valley and in the high pastures.
The final step wrapped up what the students learnt and put knowledge into practice. The students developed and prepared a menu specifically designed to highlight Botìro, then the dishes were served and presented to the public in Botìro’s original context: the countryside of Primiero.
Students also presented their activities in the final event of TSM project “Costruire paesaggi” (Building landscapes) in Trento.
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