Carlo e Giovanni Guffanti Fiori

Luigi Guffanti 1876

via Milano 140
Arona (Novara)
T. +39.0322.242038

This a family held together by the rennet that has been used to refine its cheeses in Arona, in the province of Novara, since 1876: Carlo Guffanti Fiori and his sons Giovanni and Davide represent the fourth and fifth generation. Their ancestor was Luigi, a man whose gaze was lost in the visionary dreams of a way of eating characterised by quality. He succeeded in his intent when he bought an abandoned silver mine in Valganna, capable of yielding a white gold by no means inferior to precious metals. He was also responsible for founding the cellar in Arona under the bastion of the city walls, in a space initially destined for military uses and converted with the inventive talents of a dowser. With his sons Carlo and Mario, Guffanti cheeses began to follow in the footsteps of the Lombard and Piedmontese emigrants who headed off to America at the beginning of the 20th century. New markets for new products, because the frontier was moving from Gorgonzola to conquer the Toma cheeses made on the alpine pastures of Ossolani, and Parmigiano Reggiano, clutching, in recent times, at the most prestigious types arriving from the European markets.

Selectors and refiners, Carlo, Giovanni and Davide now propose their philosophy of cheese in a new space in Arona: here the cellar is a second terroir, refinement is a phase of rebirth. Because behind a great product lies the knowledge of dairy farmers, livestock and uncontaminated landscapes, but also familiarity with the microclimate, the bacterial flora and natural transformations that only the refiner is capable of handling. Cheeses are thoroughbred foals to be “raised” on the basis of a pedagogy made up of time, brushing, oiling, rubbing and turning ad hoc.

Great-grandson of Luigi and uncle of Giacomo (author of the bible of cheese making Formaggi Italiani), Carlo was a brilliant researcher in microeconomics at the Bocconi University before turning to the milky way: «I had won a place to teach at university and they had asked me to work there full time, so I had to choose. I made my choice on the basis of my passion for a world which seemed to be full of human relationships, much more tangible than the figures of a company’s financial statements. If I really look at myself, I see nature, animals, men, science and history». A pathos that hasn’t prevented him from putting his previous managerial skills to good use, making Guffanti a polyhedral, innovative and successful company.

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Alessandra Meldolesi

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