The enhancement of the historical, artistic, and cultural heritage represented by Milan Cathedral, of which the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano has been architect and custodian since 1387, meets the enhancement of Italian enogastronomic heritage and culture, with which the Associazione Italiana Ambasciatori del Gusto or ADG (Italian Association Ambassadors of Taste) is concerned. The two organisations are announcing the signing of an unforeseen agreement that has lead to "THE TASTE OF DUOMO" project in joint support of the restoration of the symbol of Milan.
“For centuries, the Duomo has been the soul of Milan. For over half a millennium, tens of generations have followed one another in its construction, giving life to a true city within a city: the Cathedral's worksites have been host thousands of workers, the city's real economic engine. Up on the scaffolding, much time has been lived and spent: it is therefore not strange that various Milanese culinary traditions have their histories intertwined with that of the Duomo. One of these, for example, is risotto allo zafferano (risotto with saffron) that legend says was born right here, inspired by the colours used by the master glassmakers. And that's not all. The Fabbrica had to provide food for thousands of people on a daily basis as well as managing supply chain for wine production, some of which would be sold to fund the construction work. We have not invented anything: by rediscovering this antique tradition, we have thought of offering it once again through the sale of some special products, the proceeds of which will go to the restoration of the Duomo. Thanks to the collaboration with the Ambasciatori del Gusto and to the availability of chefs Cesare Battisti, Carlo Cracco, and Gianluca Fusto, this project has been made possible", declares Fedele Confalonieri, President of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano.
"The Associazione Italiana Ambascitori del Gusto has always been concerned with representing and promoting the excellence and authenticity of Italian food and wine, in all its aspects and forms, giving value back to the business that makes Made in Italy one of the most appreciated and envied standards in the whole world. Putting our work to good use by supporting, concretely, one of the symbols of Italian identity, Milan Duomo, is confirmation of our commitment and deep ties to our territory, and, in this case, to the Lombard capital, which has never shown such great resilience as in the last two years", explains Gianluca De Cristofaro, Technical and Scientific Manager of the Associazione Ambascitori del Gusto, which brings together over 120 members from the sector including chefs, pastry chefs, master pizza makers, sommeliers, ice cream makers, and dining room staff.
The project is divided into two initiatives: the first, entitled "The Taste of Duomo. Together for the Symbol of Milan", consists in the creation by the Ambasciatori del Gusto of some enogastronomic products that, through their ingredients, recall Milanese traditions. The sale of these products, both in store and online by the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano, will contribute to the institution's fundraising.
The first three Ambasciatori del Gusto leads are Cesare Battisti, Carlo Cracco, and Gianluca Fusto, who, for the occasion, and also in view of the imminent Christmas festivities, present a triptych of sweetness: Torrone del Ratanà (Ratanà Nougat), Baci di Cracco (Cracco's Kisses), and Biscotti di Milano (Milanese Biscuits).
“The Torrone del Ratanà: a true act of love for Milan" explains Cesare Battisti, chef and patron of the restaurant Ratanà and general secretary of the Ambasciatori del Gusto. "The history of nougat, native to Cremona, merges with that of Milan. In fact, we know that it has gone down in history as the dessert prepared in Cremona for the wedding banquet of Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria Visconti. A refined and substantial dessert, perfect for celebrating two newlyweds. Our version looks to Milan and to two of its principal ingredients; puffed rice and saffron pistils. From this successful combination an exclusive product is born, in a special edition for the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, which blends gastronomic culture with tastiness and refinement".
The Baci di Cracco are iconic products from the pastry workshop located in the heart of Milan. "We have taken inspiration from the traditional baci di dama (Lady's Kisses), and propose six new flavours, all to try and suitable for every occasion", explains Ambasciatore del Gusto Carlo Cracco. "First created in Tortona in the 19th century, they were presented at the Milan International Fair of 1906 where they won the gold medal, the top award for confectionary at the time".
The Biscotti di Milano are one of a kind", explains Ambasciatore del Gusto Gianluca Fusto (Fusto Milano). "They have been studied and conceived for the opening of the Boutique Laboratorio and for this represent a special union with the city that is exalted today in the exclusive packaging dedicated to Milan Duomo. Thanks to the super crumbly base made from rice flour and saffron, these gluten- and lactose-free biscuits have been created to conquer and surprise even the most demanding of palates".
In coming weeks, details of the second initiative of the project will also be revealed, entitled "A Dish for the Duomo. Together for the Symbol of Milan". A call to action with some of the Ambasciatori del Gusto and their restaurants that have committed to offering a dish in "solidarity", which will increase fundraising and reinforce the campaign of awareness promoted together with Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano.
The pandemic has represented a highly critical element for the continuity of the restoration of Milan Duomo, work that cannot be interrupted and that has had to deal with the strong penalisation of tourism. Some of the major restoration work currently underway includes: the completion of work on the Main Spire that holds the Madonnina, today at the height of the Tiburio; the mighty Organ of the Cathedral, the largest in Italy in terms of pipes and registers; the work on the Sacristies, which is revealing surprising details; and the incessant restoration of spires, stained-glass windows, and other architectural elements. With "THE TASTE OF DUOMO", it will be possible to contribute in support of these activities.
These products will be available for purchase from the Duomo Shop, the Veneranda Fabbrica's official sales point, from 8 October 2021, and can be pre-ordered online at www.duomoshop.com.
Piazza Duomo 14/a - 20122 - Milan
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