05 Dec Agri Bio Panificio Bisoglio Bakery in Lu
The passion of Mrs Luigina Bisoglio showed us a special world in Lu, a small village nestled in the smooth Monferrato hills, in between of Casale Monferrato and Alessandria. We like to drive for a few miles among vineyards and spectacular scenery in the silence, to taste Gina’s bread. She welcomes us into her bakery, opened a year ago in the village centre.
Gina was born in a family of farmers: lover of earth and nature, she carried out her battle against the use of herbicides over the years, setting as her aim the production of organic cereals. She also tells us that she started taking courses in breadmaking many years ago and studied the raw materials to go into the knowledge of food thoroughly.
An allergy to lactose convinced her to continue in the direction she had set: to obtain products free of additives, added enzymes, preservatives, stabilisers, thickeners and other chemicals, to be sure to make and offer healthy and quality products even suitable for allergic and lactose intolerant people.
“The air – she says – is what it is, but we can eat better if we let the friendly earth help us“. From a “clean” earth come the soft wheat flour, the wholemeal wheat flour and the white and yellow Mais Ottofile. All of them are daily milled by a millstone, handcrafted in Austria and placed in a proper room that is located behind the counter.
She proudly shows us the millstone; there is a scent of wood in this room , of tradition, of wisdom. It’s nice to talk to Gina, her bakery reflects her reserved, kind and friendly character. Her eyes sparkle as she talks about her work (many hours of work!), her son Luca, who joined the business, and the results achieved day after day, year after year.
It is no a secret that, thanks to this work method and the attention to the choice of ingredients, Agri Bio Panificio has earned many awards and accolades throughout Italy, such as the inclusion in the prestigious Italian food guide Il Gambero Rosso.
After having admired the mill, we have a look at the bakery products. The first and most important one is bread, which is made using the sourdough starter, daily refreshed. This is an old process of which there are already traces of ancient civilisations when people used a spontaneous sourdough to make more fragrant bread. This bread is highly digestible, has a longer storage and has got its intense flavour, characteristic of old–time bread. Gina tells us that we can keep it for 15 days in a special bag she gives to her clients.
Not only bread: at the counter, we find pizza slices, salty and sweet Focaccia (the whole wheat Focaccia with pears and chocolate is a delight), cookies and Tajarin pasta.
I tasted gluttonously the focaccia and the bread, softly acidulous, fragrant and “ancient”, a bread which reminded me of my mother, who didn’t like it, it was the bread of the war, of the poverty. You can buy soft wheat flour, wholemeal wheat flour, white and yellow Mais Ottofile and soft wheat bran: all of them produced by the cereals coming from Gina’s organic farm and then milled by the millstone.
Now is the time of the Panettone (a typical Italian Christmas cake): the recipe used is as natural as the earth from which the raw materials come from flour, yeast base starter, olive oil, sugar, eggs, organic candied fruit produced by Gina.
For people who are allergic or intolerant to milk and lactose, for people who love to eat naturally, for those who have cholesterol problems, the suggestion is to take a little trip to visit Gina and Luca’s bakery in Lu Monferrato.
From “clean” earth grains are born free, as nature intends and so free they come to us, on our tables. It is worth going to Gina and Luca and we thank them for inviting us. Before saying goodbye, Gina invites us to visit her biodynamic vegetable garden on her small family farm. It will be a pleasure, a further discovery.
Agri Bio Panificio Bisoglio
Address: Strada Ca’ Pomera, 15049 Vignale Monferrato AL
Mobile: +39 333 5241597
Written by Maurizia Meschiari | Photo courtesy of Agri Bio Panificio Luigina Bisoglio