via Martiri d'Ungheria, 23
95040 Raddusa (Catania)
+39 095 662071
His father was one of the best farmers in the province of Catania. His mother was the daughter of breeders. So it was a given fact that earth and its fruits would be part of the destiny of Giuseppe Li Rosi. But before working with wheat in all its shapes, there were some experiments with heliciculture and some unsuccessful attempts at growing cereals. The turning point in his career arrived when he became the special commissioner for the Stazione sperimentale di Granicoltura in Caltagirone. He grew interested in the indigenous wheat varieties of Sicily that – as he immediately understood – would later have a huge success.
It’s been a few years since that first intuition in 2011. During this time, Li Rosi, while staying in his hometown, Raddusa, founded Simenza, Cumpagnìa siciliana sementi contadine, a cultural association built in 2016 to safeguard one of Sicily’s most precious heritages: biodiversity. The initial idea was to safeguard its cereals (the island has 52 varieties of wheat alone, 5 of tender wheat, 48 of durum wheat). But then the work also included legumes and then animals and this led to a personal analysis too, to safeguard the human biodiversity also, knowing that «as Sicilians we’re the result of plenty of mixtures».
Simenza now includes 170 producers, compared to the initial 70. They’ve learnt to stay together despite any possible different opinion. They have recuperated an old know-how and put it at the service of modern techniques in a process of retro-innovation. This allowed the Cumpagnìa to supply large companies and thus gave the opportunity to its members to solve the common financial issues of often family-run businesses. They’ve created a technical-scientific committee with the task of writing a production policy and a certified brand.
Speaking at Identità Milano 2019.
a journalist passionate about fine wines and food, she loves finding out new places, food artisans, ingredients that tell the story of a place, restaurants worth the trip and wines to be enjoyed. She tells about all this on the pages of a newspaper, a website and a specialised magazine
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Margherita Extravergine from Massimiliano Prete. The dough is with Petra Evolutiva. On top, a sauce with tomatoes from Vesuvius a lampadina from Marianna D’Auria, and then goat’s milk ricotta from Martino Patti, and finally basil pesto and pistachios from Bronte «in honour of the great master Corrado Assenza».
Tommaso Cannata, Giuseppe Li Rosi and Corrado Assenza at Jurnate di Simenza. All the photos are from Concetta Bonini
Giuseppe Li Rosi and Tommaso Cannata at Identità Milano 2019. All the photos are from Brambilla-Serrani