Hey everyone! So this weekend in Cremona there is a huge food festival going on and I headed over there with one of my American friends to check it out. The free samples were calling my name. Friday afternoon, we jumped on a train and headed south. When we arrived in Cremona, we walked to the Fiera district from the station and quickly found the entrance to Il Bontà (the bounty), our stomachs rumbling.
Here are some pictures I shot while inside. First of all, it was free entrance for ladies on Friday (with the promise of an additional free ticket if you filled out a survey at the end). Tickets and map in hand, we marched into the Fiera, instantly spying artisan beers, wines and other typical Italian food products. We picked up many free samples as we walked through the aisles and met lots of knowledgeable vendors. Lots of the products were “bio,” or organic, and many vendors had branched out with gluten-free or lactose-free options as well. I picked up some habanero dip, some porcini-truffle spread and olive oil from Puglia.
My friend knew one of the vendors – he is a young entrepreneur who is the only grower of black corn and creates products with it! It’s super cool – he’s made bread, rice cakes, flour and originally started with a juice made from corn, some fruits and cinnamon. He told us that since black corn has this dark pigmentation like blueberries, it’s very healthy and high in antioxidants. We told him he should go open a pop-up store in the US, since we’re all about our health food. And speaking of health food, we dug into a burger made of mushrooms and seitan – really good! And I appreciated it even more cause they’re called “Fun-burgers” – Fun from funghi, mushrooms in Italian.
There was also a LatteArt competition (apparently the World Cup of LatteArt is coming up soon!). The competitors made a cappucino and then had to, first, free pour a design with the steamed milk; second, they could use some basic instruments to make another, just as intricate, design. We grabbed front row seats and, let me tell you, t was intense. They had 6 minutes, with 2 minutes of overtime, to complete 4 cups (2 cups per design). The crowd intently watched as the baristas were not only judged on design but machine/work area cleanliness.
Check out the photos below!