salsa etrusca

Al termine della presentazione dei lavori di Nicola Toffolini, collocati in uno sfiancante percorso nella natura, il pubblico ha trovato la piacevole  sorpresa  di un rinfresco pensato e messo in atto da Giuseppe Bartolini, un amico arrivato da Firenze, via costa tirrenica, Bolgheri, Umbria e infine Abruzzo, con la sua numerosa famiglia a seguito e quella di un amico. Qui sotto un’intervista  a cura di Alexandra e Rebecca Chipkin, che svela gli ingredienti segreti, le origini e le variazioni del must della famiglia Bartolini, che Giuseppe ha voluto preparare per Guilmi: la salsa etrusca.

salsa etrusca making of

The Way to Guilmi

Giuseppe Bartolini is an architect in Florence, Italy. He prepared a buffet in the south of Italy in Guilmi, Abruzzo to follow a series of installations that Nicola Toffolini made during the summer.  This buffet was a kind of mirage at the end of a long hike. Like an oasis where all the townspeople could take a rest and replenish their energy. One of the main components of the buffet was a sauce made the night before that is very important of Bartolini.                                           

Alex and Becky Chipkin: What is the name of the sauce you made for the buffet at Guilmi? Giuseppe Bartolini: The sauce was named by my mother. It is called Salsa Etrusca. It was invented by her. She had studied about cooking culture, and found a document by Apicius. In this document he described ways to preserve all the herbs. Romans learned the recipe from the etruscans. She interpreted the recipe. The first time she made it was for her 15th wedding anniversary. And every time she makes it, it changes. When you make it you have to take all the herbs you can find. The general concept is that everything changes. The salsa changes depending on the place, and gives a different taste to the salsa. The Guilmi recipe was made in a new way. It was like a diary for me. We went from Bolgheri which is on the west coast – full of herbs – and journeyed all the way to Guilmi which is on the opposite coast. ABC: How far away is that exactly? GB: About 500 kilometers. Along the way we gathered the herbs: like a diary of the trip. A story of the way to Guilmi. The meeting of Lucia’s mom was very important. I spent something like a half a day with her in the kitchen. She introduced me to nepitella, a wild mint, and wild fennel flowers. ABC: You are an architect. How does this job relate to your interest in cooking? Do you feel that they relate? GB: They work together – in me. I believe the attitude [in architecture and cooking] is similar. In both you have to experiment a lot. It is also about being curious. But there is a big difference. Cooking is a transformation by the fire. You make something into something else. Architecture is something you create from nothing. It then grows. Both are very important. ABC: We were there at Guilmi and had the pleasure to watch you making the sauce in the kitchen. You and about six or seven of the guests in Guilmi were sitting around the table. Each person had a job, you were all talking, laughing, etc. Did you feel a sense of community when making the sauce? GB: Cooking together is important. I don’t eat when I am alone. I think you should eat with others. Like a ritual.  Born before architecture. After the discovery of fire. Woman was the first cooker. Men hunted and gathered. Use tables a lot. Most exhibitions of my architecture use tables as the exhibition space. I am a teacher, and the desks are not in a row. Square, place, void where you can share. Mies van der Rohe; piazzas, square.


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