Because this grape was difficult to grow and not abundant it fell almost completely of production in favor of more abundant varieties. In the 1990s, winemaker Elvio Cogno rediscovered the wine and got it back into production. This was not easy because they had to actually locate and select the plants. The contemporary interest in autochthonous wines provides the support to bring a difficult grape into commercial viability.

The Comeback

Francesco Gargiulo was the first of the dynasty to go outside of the family business started by his grandmother. “Everyone working there has my name, ages 21 to 57.” Until two years ago, he was a lawyer. His father was proud of that. Then he came back. “I had the attitude to stay in the cheese factory.” Now his father has something else to be proud of. Francesco went outside of the dynasty for a new perspective on value. For his father’s generation, value meant to save money on inputs. He was buying milk. Francesco sees value as quality. He’s buying cows. “I have to know what I am selling. I have to know the milk and the animals.”   “It’s a modernization that is a comeback.” The Latterie Gargiulo makes aged cheeses, Caciocavallo, Ochiatto di Gragnago, and Premiato Gragnano Antico, as well as Mozzarella and Smoked Mozzarella. Like their grandmother, they smokes the mozzarella with hay, not wood, imparting a gentle and soft flavor. “It’s more work and more expense, but it’s the traditional way and it’s better.” Latterie Gargiulo, Municipality of Gragnano, Province of Naples, Region of Campania, Italy.

Down the Battery

Denominazione d’Origine Protetta (DOP) Balsamico to be certified by the “consortium” (and receive its label and €10/ml price) must age for 25 years through a “battery”. Nevertheless no balsamic has an age, because the barrels are never emptied or cleaned. They still contain the sediment of hundreds of years. Giusti produces 250 l/year. A DOP-rejected batch may be resubmitted the following year.

Food with Context

The action and logistics of this world accumulate and destroy. Increasingly, Life and Expression are mere inputs. We are in a mighty struggle for meaning against the contempt that is commodification. Our intentions, decisions, and actions are the battleground between humanity and our machines. The economic logics we have created are as ruthless as any robots.

Julian’s Yes

I don’t do something just for money reasons, but also for quality. For the thing itself. I like single components. I never use any kind of mix. I make it all by myself. I don’t like the tendency in business that you can buy everything ready-made.

“Not a lot of people have this oven”

I grew up in an Indian neighborhood in Canada. I loved the food. When I moved here to Berlin I missed it. So I went to study in India. It took a lot of time to adapt the recipes.

Artisan Modern is about the opportunity for meaningful materialism.

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