English Version: Mais Spinato di Gandino - TUTTI PER UNO CIBO PER TUTTI

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English Version: Mais Spinato di Gandino

Prodotti del territorio > Mais

Every landscape has a taste, every taste has a history in Italy.
(Riccardo Lagorio Italian’s leading expert to Municipal Certification Mark)

Mais spinato di Gandino

It is a product of excellence, an ancient cornmeal variety that, in 1632, was brought to Gandino, a village located in the Seriana Valley, a few kilometres away from Bergamo (Italy).
Today this product has been rediscovered thanks to a local, high-profile cultural project. This cornmeal is called Mais Spinato of Gandino.
The project, aimed at selecting, safeguarding and promoting this quality of mais, endowed with specific organoleptic properties, was launched in 2008. Actually, when some ears and seeds were found in an ancient Gandino farm called Ca’ Parecia, a long path started, in order the select the seeds and bring them back to their original characteristics. This ancient cornmeal variety was therefore brought back to life. The seeds of Mais Spinato are today stored by the CRA (Centre for Corn Cultivation Research) of Bergamo, by the Banca del Germoplasma (Seedbank) of Pavia (Italy), and by the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the famous place in Norway, 1,200 km away from the North Pole, where hundreds of seeds from all the world are preserved.

Once upon a time... and still nowadays!

The‚ Mais Spinato‛ project reminds the agricoltural tradition of Gandino. This is not simply‚ nostalgy‛, but an excellent introdution for a remarkable economic system, held by farmers and commercial operators. This is an invaluable asset for tourism, because Gandino can tell you a story even with food.

(Elio Castelli Sindaco di Gandino)

It is this noise, this noise puzzles me.

It is the noise the Spinato Cornmeal makes when it slides between my fingers and falls forming a small pile. It is the noise of healthy food, the same crispy sensation my palate will feel a bit later. Because the grains of this melgòt (corn)
are crispy, harvested at the right time and air-dried so that their flavours can strengthen.
This corn’s flour, carefully ground, has a strong smell of cooked flour, even if it is not cooked yet, and this smell gets intensified and persistent once polenta is ready. Its taste is rounded, well balanced, and it leaves a sweetness sensation lasting in the mouth.
Slightly rough to the palate, flour from Mais Spinato of Gandino matches well with cheese, mushrooms, meat and game meat, and it reminds us of its glorious, country origin.

Project MEN OF CORN: old varieties for a new agriculture.

Lombardy is a land where corn formed a universe of symbols and meanings because it was not seen as a food but as the "food".
Polenta was synonymous of food itself in many communities. This has lasted for four centuries at least, since farming had begun to spread.
The departure from the mountains and the decline of the rural world was followed by a widespread of a bunch of international types aimed to animal sustenance, meat usage and milk production.
In Lombardy however there are cultivation of ancient types of corn, often limited to small areas, which rediscovery and relaunch offers a chance to the territorial requalification. Selection-production reproduction of these particular types of corn is locally taken by some peasants, associations, small communities, answering to a renewed interest for the good and local food.
SPINATO DI GANDINO is one of those realities brought to us thanks to the efforts of the "seed keepers".

Starting from 2008, the Municipality of Gandino, launched a scientific cooperation project with CRA-MAC , aimed at safeguarding and promoting the Gandino corn variety called “SPINATO di GANDINO”. A survey for collecting corn seeds among local farmers was started under the supervision of the De.C.O. Commission and of the Pro-Loco (the municipality-based association for the promotion of local traditions and culture). In this way a selection and a cultivation of different corn eco-types still present in the area were started.
(Paolo Valoti)

More detailed information on “mais spinato” and the products that can be obtained from  its corn can be found in the links listed below:


Mais Spinato
Mais Spinato
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