I couldn’t find a better day to highlight the enogastronomic marketplace Eataly since today is Blog Action day, when (at last count) over 15,000 blogs would be talking about today’s topic: The Environment.
Eataly, located in Turin was opened just this past February in the old Carpano vermouth factory. I am focusing on it today not only because it’s an interesting place for a foodie to pass some time (as well as get some gifts), Eataly is also committed to being a learning center just as much as a salesplace. In fact, the space dedicated to their learning facilities is actually larger than their marketplace (3,200 square meters vs. 2,450 respectively).
The Slow Food organization serves as a consultant to Eataly, and Eataly has adopted its three principles. Hopefully Eataly can become a resource that brings the Slow Food philosophy closer to everyday people.
- Food must taste good.
- A food must be ecologically sustainable.
- A food must be produced in a socially just way.
There was a big section in Eataly’s entryway about “Eating in Season” and its main point was eating fruits and vegetables in season is better for everyone because it’s when they are the freshest and the products are most sustainable (i.e., coming from locally grown sources and/or natural means) Food Network also has some information about eating produce in season .
I think my favorite part of the visit was the “cantina” – where you could enter and see a type of larder where cheese and prosciutto were being stored. The smell inside these closed-off rooms was delicious, and we noticed that a private aperitivo had just finished in the cheese room. We scanned the plates for any leftover bits. Sadly, nothing.
S’s favorite part was of course the wine cellar. There was also a “reserve” room that was closed-off with bottles that were close to our monthy salaries. The Eataly restaurant adjoins the reserve room and it looked very cozy (and closed). Also, the wine cellar, like most specialty areas in Eataly, had its own eating area, full of tables ready for a glass of wine and aperitivo shortly.
I’ve heard it called a “Foodie’s Disneyland” but it is important to remember that behind every choice, every product selection, there are faces and families behind the production. Eataly tries to justify each of its choices, even for technological reasons, and you’ll often find a sign next to a TV or a piece of equipment stating why Eataly has chosen this company as a supplier/partner.
What I’d like to see more of from Eataly in the future….
- Big recycling bins and an educational area about recycling
- Big welcoming center – education center for children – there were lots of children there but I didn’t see them as engaged as they could have been.
- “This is not a Plastic Bag” Eataly bags and/or rewards for those bringing their own bags.
- Some words about the end-users and how much profit they’re getting by selling to Eataly instead of another group (i.e., even a percentile!)
- Flesh out their online presence with more information about their principles and classes involved.
So take some Action yourself today on Blog Action Day!
- Investigate the Slow Food movement and its activities in your area
- Check out your local farmer’s market (a directory of farmer’s markets in: the US, the UK in Australia, couldn’t find a good one for Canada).
- Buy Fair Trade products. You know, that FT word. I wrote about Fair Trade chocolate back in January and I used Fair Trade cane sugar in my Strawberry Semifreddo.
- Start going green with Treehugger’s How To guides: How to Green Your Meal (two I threw in just for fun: How to Green your Wedding, and How to Green your Sex Life)
Some other bloggers talk about Eataly – Judy from Over a Tuscan Stove has talked about it, and Un Tocco di Zenzero (Italian) just went to Italy as well. And Eataly? Well, it’s coming closer…stores are slated to open all over Italy and in NYC!
Via Nizza, 230 int. 14 (in front of “8 Gallery”) Torino Lingotto. (on public transportation, from the Porta Nuova station – take the 1 / 18 / 35 bus toward Lingotto and get off at 8 Gallery/Politecnico – you should see Eataly from the street if you get off at the stop right after!)