The future of future grains

Antonio Cera, a baker with a degree from Bocconi, is to present the Associazione Futurista del Pane in Apulia: «Enough lies»

17-06-2017

A display of special breads made by Antonio Cera, the economist-baker who in San Marco in Lamis sul Gargano, from Saturday 17th to Monday 19th June will celebrate a national festival dedicated to bread with a special attention to Grani Futuri [future wheat varieties] and Associazione Futurista del Pane

Do not confuse them with other recently very popular varieties of wheat just because it sounds cool: these are Grani Futuri, F-U-T-U-R-I [Future grains]. Antonio Cera, from Gargano, in Apulia, born into a family of bakers and a baker himself after a degree in Economics from Bocconi, organised in his homeland an extraordinary event dedicated to bread, called Grani Futuri, info@granifuturi.com. The date is in mid June, from Saturday 17th to Monday 19th in San Marco in Lamis, 550 metres above the sea level, which in this case is a beautiful sea as we’re in Apulia.

Three days of tastings, presentations, debates, lunch and dinner up to the signature of the Manifesto Futurista del Pane and at the end the classic «gala dinner with starred chefs interpreting Bread». Everything will begin with Spanish Maria Sollivelas, from Palma de Mallorca, then lots of Italy with Errico RecanatiNicola FossacecaAngelo SabatelliLuca Lacalamita and Alessandro Della Tommasina.

Bread, butter, anchovies and wild mugnoli, a tasting offered by Viviana Varese when they presented Grani Futuri in May in Milan

Bread, butter, anchovies and wild mugnoli, a tasting offered by Viviana Varese when they presented Grani Futuri in May in Milan

How about the bread? There will be three types, all from Sanmarco, made by Cera himself: F’orma (a play on the words orma, footprint, and forma, shape), dita (that is to say straight taralli, not the classing rings) and panterrone, a proud bread from the south. The organisers would also like to thank the other chefs and restaurateurs involved: Viviana VareseMichelangelo DoriaPietro ZitoDomenico CilentiFelice Sgarra and Agostino Bartoli.

Antonio Cera recalls: «I grew up among fields of wheat, sacks of flour and a home where everyone had a task: aunty Tinella was the family seamstress, aunty Maria the baker and entrepreneur, my mum Lina a biologist and my father Angelo a teacher-writer. Then there was my grandfather Michele and his vegetable garden and his fixation of making cheese. My passion for wild herbs comes from my grandmother Caterina. They were all proud of a work properly done.

Grani Futuri by Antonio Cera, baker and economist in San Marco in Lamis in the province of Foggia. The event is scheduled from the 17th to the 19th of June. They are inspired by the work of incredible people here portrayed inside Eataly Smeraldo in Milan. Not only Viviana Varese but, most of all, the women in the Cera family: mamma Lina and aunts Tanella and Maria

Grani Futuri by Antonio Cera, baker and economist in San Marco in Lamis in the province of Foggia. The event is scheduled from the 17th to the 19th of June. They are inspired by the work of incredible people here portrayed inside Eataly Smeraldo in Milan. Not only Viviana Varese but, most of all, the women in the Cera family: mamma Lina and aunts Tanella and Maria

I remember when I decided to leave Milan, and what appeared to be the most logical career after a degree from Bocconi, to return home and become a baker. Some people asked my mother if she was disappointed. She said no. In fact she was happy because she knew I was».

It’s not easy to have a mum like this, and even ideas like this because Cera obviously doesn’t resemble the classic baker iconography. After all, he presents himself as a baker-economist who works on the «evolution of bread and sustainability, biodiversity and fighting waste». But why is it that his varieties of wheat refer to the future and not to ancient times? «Because I want to control the entire supply chain, what comes before and what after bread itself. I’d like to avoid wheat that perhaps comes from Chernobyl and was subjected to X rays and the like, the result of many things that have nothing to do with quality. I speak with farmers, millers, bakers, pastry-chefs, cooks». And I must say that I would have never thought that a well-read man like him would say the word cook, and not chef, with such importance.

In San Marco in Lamis there will be many things not to be missed. For instance on Sunday 18th there will be a confrontation between 10 different pancotti from 10 towns near Foggia (wherever you go, in Italy, there are never to equal recipes for the same dish) up to the presentation of the Manifesto del Pane «to reach a global change in diet. There’s little bread culture in Italy, both among consumers and bread makers. Almost every region will be represented, while the Associazione Futurista del Pane already has 8 founding members up to a maximum of 50 so that we can control every link in the supply chain». With Cera there’s farmer Alfredo De Lillo, farmer and butcher Michele Sabatino, farmer and breeder Giuseppe Bramante, chef Luigi Nardella, farmer Filippo Schiavone, agricultural entrepreneur and engineer, Giacinto Lombardi and finally farmer and agronomist Raffele Schiena. Click here for the programme.


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