Ginger grown in Italy? It is already being done, particularly in the central-southern regions. Now, to promote this particularity, a Consortium has been set up to which four partners have joined: Valfrutta Fresco (business unit of Apo Conerpo), Del Monte, Agrintesa and Agritechno (the latter as the company behind the project through its founder, Massimo Longo).
“The goal – said Stefano Soli, General Manager of Valfrutta Fresco – is to build new opportunities for Italian producers and to guarantee consumers a product of excellent quality – far superior to that imported from Asia or South America – with a 100% Italian certified supply chain, from the rhizome to the finished product.”
GINGER PRODUCTION IS GROWING IN ITALY
After all ginger is becoming more and more familiar among Italian consumers. ISTAT has noticed this, including it in its basket to photograph the consumption of families and therefore the inflation levels. “Production will be concentrated in a limited number of companies – adds Longo – which will make available throughout the year a quality product grown according to the specifications of the Italian Ginger Consortium. We will be able to count on different production areas, in particular in the regions of Central and Southern Italy, where both conventional and organic ginger will be cultivated.”
NONINO AND THE INVENTION OF THE ITALIAN DISTILLED GINGER
Moreover, Italian ginger is almost certainly the first product in the history of agriculture to have obtained, even before its ‘fresh’ version, the distilled version. It was created by Italy’s spirits company Nonino, which has been collaborating with Longo since last year to create his GingerSpirit. In some ways, the need of Nonino to obtain a high quality raw material for distillation drove the founder of Agritechno to launch the project in Italy.
“We wanted to have the best ginger in the world – says Cristina Nonino – so we turned to Massimo, who tried to grow it in Italy. In the past we had made several experiments in the distillery with other raw materials, without ever reaching the result that we had set as our goal. Thanks to Massimo’s intuitions, today we can say that Nonino GingerSpirit will be the first ginger distillate certified made in Italy. It is an enormous satisfaction for me and it was also my ‘degree thesis’ in distillation, as I personally followed the project and my father (Benito Nonino, inventor with his wife Giannola of the ‘grappa monovitigno’ in 1973) gave me full marks. My mother too adores ginger and has been urging for years that it be distilled. The result has been appreciated since the presentation at Prowein, and this year Simone Caporale made him a co-star during the Symposium in Paris organized by his organization P(our).”
FROM GRAPPA TO MIXOLOGY
For Nonino this is an additional opportunity to make its brand known throughout the world, even outside of grappa, entering more decisively into mixology.
Where does Nonino GingerSpirit’s ginger come from? “From Sicily – says Cristina Nonino – but these days I’ve been talking with Massimo Longo and we’re going to test other production areas in Italy”.