For my beloved Brother who introduced me to the art of cooking, who taught me how to taste and truly love food. Without him I'd never be able to be where I am today.

October 22, 2012

Living Bra:
  Towards the Gastronomic Year of a Lifetime

Yes! It’s finally getting closer. Only less than 24 hours to go until I’ll board a plane taking me away from the darkening and cooling Helsinki towards Bra – a little town in the Northwest region of Italy, Piedmont to be more precise. Ever since July 3rd, when I received the official “Dear Miss Salminen, We are delighted to inform you that You have been accepted to the University of Gastronomic Sciences” –mail, something inside of me has been bubbling, burning and tingling. Mildly put, I’ve been extremely restless in anticipation and excitement for the year ahead.

Most of the autumn I’ve already been there in my thoughts and in my heart. I’ve certainly grown a grandiose appetite for new culinary adventures and a tremendous hunger for Italian cuisine. I’ve been picturing my life in Bra; the people I’ll meet, the knowledge I’ll gain, and the food, mamma mia, the food I’ll eat…Each time, I’ve gotten utterly lost in the world of my daydreams where everything edible could be a potential new flavor, a bite of something amazing that I’ve never had before.

Bra, Bra, Bra. I’ve laughed and made all the silly wordplays over and over again: it’s going to so ‘bra’ in Bra. The food can only be ‘bra’ in Bra. (Bra means ‘good’ in Swedish, by the way). I’ll be in Bra without a bra… I think I can stop with the examples, you’ve surely got the point. Jokes aside, Bra is in fact located in a marvelous culinary region and is only a stone’s throw away from the well-known Langhe area famous for wine, cheese and truffles. Even though Bra and the neighboring gastronomic haven Alba are somewhat rivals, Bra too has claimed a strong identity as nucleus of fine wines and food. After all, none other than the Slow Food Association was first founded in Bra in 1989. Bra is also the home of rising culinary genius and unconditional love for food, as most of the students of the University of Gastronomic Sciences pilgrim here from all over the world.

As if there wouldn’t be enough excitement for this autumn as it is, two days after my arrival to Bra, the biennial world class gastronomic fair Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto in Turin opens its doors. Not a total coincidence I must admit, but still, the food event of the year just happens to conveniently take place the same week that I set my foot in the little town only an hour’s car ride away. Perfect!

When I realized this fact, it was some time this summer, I couldn’t see myself there as just another visitor. Oh no, I knew I’d need to get my hands dirty straight away. After dozens of emails, calls, visits and puppy eyed pleads, I finally managed to get deeper into the game. I’m honored and thrilled to get to participate hands-on in various preparations and represent Finland. I’ll barely have time to sit down and order a Spritz for aperitivo and indulge myself with a (gluten free) pizza before I’ll already be busy as a bee heading full speed ahead towards the delicious event.

So, boys and girl, if you wonder why my post for the next year or so will most certainly be very Italy-related, now you know the reason. I also have to warn you and maybe even excuse myself for the future posts. Something tells me that their content will be even more extravagant and foodgasmic than ever before. Let’s face it, what else can I except from a year studying and living in Italy, side-by-side with a hundred other food loving young adults, drinking amazing wines and stuffing my face with sensational Parmiggiano, than mind-blowing finger-licking culinary moments.

Bra here I come!

1 comment:

  1. Best of luck in Bra, and can't wait to see what you'll learn!


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