iSAGE in Turin for the Slow Food exhibition and events

Terra Madre  is the major event that SLOWFOOD  is organizing in Turin every two years, together with the international food exhibition “Salone del Gusto”: from 20 to 24 September 2018 the 12th edition was held at the Lingotto Exhibition Center.

Terra Madre brings together those players in the food chain who together support sustainable agriculture, fishing, and breeding with the goal of preserving taste and biodiversity. This year edition was animated by stories, traditions and products of over 7000 delegates from 150 countries, that attracted over 200.000 visitors.

This year’s motto was “Food for Change” with sustainability as the fil rouge of many events about agriculture, food and its territories.

On September 20th iSAGE partners UNIVPM and ICEA organized a “taste workshop” on the “Brogna sheep: from Lessinia the sheep that survived”. Brogna is an ancient sheep breed from the Lessinia mountains near Verona (Veneto region, Italy), with threefold aptitude (milk, meat, wool), that was recently revived by a local farmer association before it became extinct. Taste workshops (“Laboratori del Gusto”) are among the main showcase events in the TerraMadre programme, and are open to a maximum of 35 people. The taste lab  was organized in collaboration with chef Giovanni Caltagirone, which own a restaurant in Lessinia and is a champion of the culinary use of Brogna sheep products. About 35 people from all over the world participated, including consumers, food bloggers, journalists, and chefs.

After a brief introduction on the iSAGE project by Antonio Compagnoni (ICEA) and the presentation of the Brogna sheep story by Marcello Volanti (ICEA/Brogna association), the chef demonstrated some innovative preparations that use all parts of the sheep, without waste and with more value for farmers: three dishes were prepared and given to taste to participants.

On the evening of September 21st, the iSAGE partners organized a demonstration dinner in collaboration of one of the most traditional “osteria” of Turin, in the city centre:  the Osteria Enoteca Rabezzana.

The theme of the dinner was “(o)vino”, an Italian a nice word pun between wine (vino) and sheep (ovino),. The 4-course fixed gourmet menu featured both sheep meat and cheese, and was created and prepared by two chefs: Giuseppe Zizzo of Osteria Rabezzana and Giovanni Caltagirone of the Ristorante 13 Comuni from Velo Veronese. The dinner was promoted via social media and gathered about 30 clients that enjoyed the special menu.

In this occasion UNIVPM organized a consumer experiment, providing two different menus, one with more information about the food: its origin and sustainability, the other without that info. The participants had to grade their expectations and final judgements according to the different information provided. Results showed that the participants tended to have higher expectations when reading the menu without the additional information on origin and sustainability. However, after the meal, participants were more willing to pay higher prices for the menu with the additional information. Given the small sample, the study will be replicated in other contexts to gather further evidence of the effect of sustainability dimensions on the consumer liking and expectations.