During my childhood, Sundays and holidays were spent enjoying agricultural culinary traditions. My friends and family – parents, brother, aunts, aunts, uncles, cousins – went to our country houses for a day of cooking, eating and, for us children, playing.
But unfortunately, as we grew up we lost our connection to the land because our lives got busier and supermarkets started to take over the food supply. An increasing amount of land became uncultivated and was no longer producing food. When we became aware of this transition, we felt nostalgic about our nearly-lost culinary traditions.
So I started to look for the few authentic farms that continue to preserve local products, traditional processes and cultures. I tasted wine, olive oil, pasta, biscuits, jams and other traditional culinary products in regions across Europe. Through this experience I re-connected with our rich cultural heritage. I discovered the stories – and secrets – of all these farms and realised that very similar traditions have been handed down in my own family as well.
I recall many precious memories in the kitchen. My grandmother transforming humble flour and eggs into pasta, my aunts turning freshly picked strawberries into jam and my grandfather bottling wine with love.
As I wanted to relive those magical moments on the farm, I spent many evenings with friends savouring traditional products I collected from various artisanal farms
The culinary traditions each family farm represents are unique. That’s something we unanimously agreed upon during those evenings. We got to share those delicacies, but fortunately we aren’t the only ones. Those famers still produced for people from all over the region.
“Ingredients and land are an important part of our tradition,” I remember my grandfather saying. “I have always relied on local products, and since I know each individual producer personally – quality is not a problem.”
I realised that any farm’s culinary delicacies are not only created through love and unique recipes, but foremost with local products made through centuries-old traditions and craftsmen engaged in their trade.
This is why I started LANDFRIEND. So that both you and I can take a journey across Europe through the products in our kitchens. We get to explore rich culinary traditions through its authentic food, but also through the history and loving recipes of a local farmer that maintains and cares for the land as our best friend.