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VIA DEI SAPERI E DEI SAPORI
OF THE FRIULIAN DOLOMITES

A regional marketing initiative promoted by the Montana Community of Western Friuli and Gal Mountain Leader.

The "Via dei Saperi e dei Sapori of the Friulian Dolomites": this is one of the most significant regional marketing initiatives promoted by the Montana Community of Western Friuli and Gal Mountain Leader. Designed with the aim of restoring the proper value to those small companies that are particularly active on the territory and which are playing an irreplaceable role of support and regeneration of sustainable agriculture, the preservation of the historical and cultural traditions and of that unique and irreplaceable environment characteristic of the Friulian Dolomite area.
54 companies from all over the territory have already joined this initiative, united by the common goal to promote the richness of the food and wine, crafts, culture and traditions of a part of Friuli that is still rich in treasures to be revealed. Such as the Cipolla Rossa (Red Onion) of Cavasso Nuovo, Slow Food presidia, characterised by the typical red tunic with golden reflections that has a rosier tinge in the land of Val Cosa. An onion, crisp and sweet, that is even very good to eat raw, and is never piquant. It was traditional for the women of the Pordenone foothills to come down at sunrise from Cavasso Nuovo and Castelnovo of Friuli, and take their baskets laden with these onions that were a staple food of the area to Maniago, Spilimbergo, Claut, Andreis or Barcis. As was the pitina, a patty of smoked meat which, in those days like today and even beyond the regional borders, is a true gastronomic icon of Val Tramontina. Originally composed of meat from sheep, goats or wild game, the pitina owes its characteristic patty shape to the inability to find guts in the mountain areas in which to stuff the meat and this compromised the ability to store it. The pitina did not require any special equipment: it was possible to prepare them anywhere, even in distant, particularly isolated pastures. The preparation of the pitina has always followed the availability of raw produce: a goat that broke a leg, a malaise at the birthing or the slaughter of a chamois, were the occasional conditions for its immediate preparation.
The Friulian Dolomites, finally, are the undisputed kingdom of tasty cheeses, such as the formaggio asìno and the formai tal cit, and cellars of the first order, often used for the recovery and enhancement of those indigenous vine varieties, such as the Ucelùt, Sciaglin, Piculit Neri, Forgiarin and Cjanòri, which emphasise the enological identity.

The first two initiatives of the "Via dei Saperi e dei Sapori of the Friulian Dolomites" will be the Giroazienda, 4 events from November to February, and Biciassaggiando, scheduled for next spring. The means of transport changes, by car in the first case, bicycle in the second, but the goal remains the same: to get the public to discover small, often isolated, businesses and niche products typical of the region.

It takes off, therefore, on Saturday, 22 and Sunday, 23 November, with the first of the Giroazienda events: "Per Orti e Valli". Two days during which eight agricultural businesses will be open to welcome the public who will have the opportunity to sample the products, visit the gardens, orchards and processing workshops, help with the pressing of the olives, learn how to braid onions or experience the excitement of hunting for truffles. All enlivened by musical and theatrical entertainment, children's animation, artistic craft exhibitions and other activities. The programme also includes guided tours of the area and the possibility of having lunch or dinner in affiliated local restaurants.
The 13 and 14 December will then be the turn of dairy farms with "Formaggi e paraggi", the 24 and 25 January will be dedicated to cured meat products with "Affettuosi salumi", and to conclude the 7 and 8 February with "Carnevale in cantina" dedicated to the wineries.