via Principe Amedeo, 80
In the primeval history of medicine, alchemic knowledge and gastronomy, the first hands able to distill the first potion of Fernet, the cult liqueur of the city of Milan, belonged to a woman. They were Maria Scala’s: after his marriage with mister Branca she was looking for something to relief little pains and extemporary innocent wishes. More than 150 years later, the formula is still a secret. Chinese rubarb, French gentian, red southamerican cinchona, ethiopian myrrha, southafrican aloe and again, cardamom, mint, chamomile and, last but not least, saffron… a blend of tens of herbs and spices grown up in 4 continents.
But in this case industry doesn’t mean approximation, and standard as nothing to do with homologated ingredients.
The know-how Fratelli Branca need to keep their flag high is assured today by a “chef de cave” whos’ half a chemist, half a botanist, a powerful druid called Franco Chialva: he’s the one who guarantees that only quality herbs and spices flow inside pot-stills.
After studying chemistry, agricultural sciences and enology, he’s today managing the Martini & Rossi’s Group Quality aromatic raw materials department. He’s also the director of Centro Studi Maria Branca, professor in Science and herborist techniques, essays writer and institutional authority.
Pancalieri, his hometown, is the place, for centuries mint develepode its best aromas, thanks to a world-privileged terroir that made here blossom the first piperita mint in history.
Umbra di Perugia con residenza a Bologna, è giornalista e scrittrice di cucina. Tra i numeri volumi tradotti e curati, spicca "6, autoritratto della Cucina Italiana d’Avanguardia" per Cucina & Vini
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