Second-Year Students Disperse to the Four Corners of the Globe

For the second-year students in the three-year undergraduate program, these trips mark the kick-off of the new school year.

The study trip to Brazil will take place primarily in S„o Paulo, a number of neighboring regions, and the Vale do Ribeira, land of the Quilombo settlements. In S„o Paulo, capital city of the southeastern state of the same name, the program includes a seminar on Brazilian gastronomy and a lesson on the relationship between local food and the immigrant influence. Students will visit numerous locales, including the restaurants Julia Gastronomia and Brasil a Gosto, owned by Ana Luisa Trajano, as well as Chiappetta, a food store in the heart of the market.

From the 4th to the 8th, the UNISG group will study the typical products and food culture of the Vale do Ribeira, five hours from the state capital. After an introductory lesson on the geography and regional culture, given by representatives o the ISA office of Eldorado, the students will explore the dynamics of the Quilombo communities and the processes of harvesting and transformation of manioc. An encounter with Vandir do Santos (Terra Madre 2010) will also take place, as well as a visit to Mandira, a well known an important site of oyster production (a product of the Ark of Taste).

Returning to S„o Paulo, the group will stop off at Gastromotiva, a social project founded by David Hertz, the top chef who recently visited the UNISG Pollenzo campus. There they will have a number of cooking lessons, as well as participate in the Gastromotiva workshops. The last days of the trip will include a visit to the organic market AAO in the Parque de Agua Branca, as well as a meeting with the S„o Paulo Slow Food convivium.

Cape Town will play host to the UNISG students during the first days of this study trip, serving as a jumping off point for an itinerary that includes the Cape of Good Hope, Duiker Island, and Boulders Beach. The students will also learn about the main food traditions with visits to local families, to the Joubert & Monty producers of Biltong, a dried meat product, and to the head office of Red Espresso, a producer of a type of Rooibus tea-based espresso.

On the 3rd, the group will take off along Route 62 to explore the longest wine route in the world. During this phase, they will stop off at Fairview Estate, Bon Cap Winery, Rooiberg Cellars, and Boplass, specialists in the production of port. But wine is not the only product explored along this route: they will also visit the distillery Brandy Klipdrift and Olyfberg Olives, an oil mill typical of the region.

At Oudtshoorn, between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, the students will visit the Chamber of Commerce for the Protection of the South African Ostrich and a workshop where they will witness the production chain from egg to final product. Before returning to Cape Town and then home to Italy, the program incorporates a lesson on bread making at the pastry producer Ile de Pain at Knysna, as well as a stop at the organic mill, Eureka Mills, in Heideberg.

Doshisa University in Kyoto will accommodate the UNISG group during their Japan visit, hosting them at their facilities in Armost and Keishikan. After a welcoming celebration at the school, the students will travel to the Nagasawa farm and its organic vegetable production, to Takashima, ìthe city of waterî and the Uehara sake company. During the workshops of the first week, special attention will be given to Natto, a typical Japanese dish made from fermented soy beans The students will also participate in a conference on building organic agriculture communities, on the 4th at the agriculture campus of Noenkan.

The second half of the itinerary will take the group to Kobe, southwest of Kyoto, where they will visit the regional markets and the rich cultural areas of the zone. The visit will be rounded out with a trip to the Museum of Ceramics, sushi lessons at the restaurant Akashi Futami, a visit to sake-producer Nada Gogo, and a tour of the Motomachi region, which was badly hit by the earthquake of 1995.

David Szanto, UNISG’s North American communications coordinator and a professor of gastronomy, will welcome a group of students for an introduction to the food and streets of Montreal, the starting point for the Canadian study trip. They will then move on to the Gatineau region for a visit with GaÎtan Tessier, chef-owner of Chocomotive, an artisanal confectionery located in Montebello. On the 3rd, the students will participate in the FÍte BiËres & Saveurs, a beer festival in Chambly, before moving on to the Batiscan Valley the following day. There they will meet the local Slow Food convivium and learn about this historic and largely undeveloped rural region, as well as view a short film about the river valley, explore an experimental house made of hemp fiber, and participate in a series of tastings and lessons. Regional products including hemp, soy, cheese, and meats will also be explored. Continuing up the north shore of the St-Lawrence River, the students will stop off at the cheesemaker Fromagerie Pichet, the Tournesol Farm in St. Dominique, and to the Maison d’Affinage Maurice Dufour in the Charlevoix region.

Natural beauty and local gastronomy will alternate with visits to the mills of
Isle-aux-Coudres, to the Jardins du Centre, and to the Eboulmontaise Farm, where Charlevoix Lamb is produced, the first protected geographic appellation in North America. The Canadian trip will wrap up with a stop at the Fumoir Saint-Antoine and a tour of Quebec City.