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Tribute to Dante, cantor of the Grana Padano lands

The protection consortium participates in the celebration of the great poet on "Dantedì"

“Suso in Italia bella giace un laco,/ a piè de l’Alpe che serra Lamagna/sovra Tiralli, c’ha nome Benaco”: thus in the twentieth canto of the Inferno Dante Alighieri evokes Garda Lake, to join it, after a few verses at the heart of the Po valley: "tosto che l’acqua a correr mette co,/non più Benaco, ma Mencio si chiama/ fino a Governol, dove cade in Po”. Celebrating their heart of water, the great poet sang, therefore, those lands that welcomed him into exile in which, already at his time, at least for over a century, peasants and nobles had brought to the poor and rich tables the "formai de grain". This cheese invented by the Benedictine monks of the Chiaravalle abbey in 1135, today is Grana Padano, the most consumed PDO cheese in the world, with over 5.2 million wheels produced.

The consortium protects Grana Padano evokes and remembers in Dantedì, March 25, chosen seven centuries after Dante's death to pay homage to him on the day the poet started the journey of the Divine Comedy in 1300. "We are all his debtors", he explains Stefano Berni, general manager of the consortium for the protection of Grana Padano. "He shaped our language, the first sign of identity of a community, which only six centuries later would become national. In the journey marked by the religious culture of his time he gives names and faces to ideas, beliefs, dogmas and superstitions, putting together events and stories that for seven centuries are still a reference through his verses in many reflections on our time. And the last verse of the Divine Comedy 'And therefore we went out to see the stars', in Italy and in today's world struggling that one of the greatest tragedies that the last generations remember, is more than a hope and resonates as a commitment . Celebrating Dante therefore means rediscovering our roots and cultivating them, with pride and conviction, showing us proud and worthy of it in our work".

At the end of the summer, on the occasion of the anniversary of his death which dates back to 13 September 1321, the Grana Padano consortium will sponsor the celebratory initiatives within the Mantua Literature Festival. "We aim to enhance the link between his masterpiece and an asset of food and social culture, both born between the Alps and the Apennines and along the Po", explains the general director of the consortium. From Monviso to the Adriatic Sea, through territories today of Piedmont, Lombardy, Trentino, Veneto and Emilia Romagna, Dante tells about his time, the cities and people who hosted him, exiled for his ideas, in a restless wandering. "We invite you to reflect on that welcome, which even then it was in the sensitivity of our communities and to look for the signs of a spirit that make Dante eternal and still current”, concludes Berni.

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EFA News - European Food Agency
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