The alarm is also ringing out for sheet pastry cooks. It might sound funny, but it’s all very real indeed. Bologna risks ending up without one of its recognised characteristic symbols: high quality cuisine. Councilor for Culture, Lepore has thrown down the gauntlet by saying, “You can’t find enough quality. And if we don’t do something soon, we will really risk becoming the city of just street food.” In short, the situation is serious and the Municipality wants to raise awareness of it at all levels. “We must take steps forward together with the trade associations and the Region.” Lepore was announcing this on the very the day in which the council officially recognised De.Co. – the ‘municipal denomination’ – for the filling of tortellino. This will become a quality brand recognizable in all the commercial activities of the city.
By answering a question about the Unesco protection of the sfogline (sheet pastry), however, Lepore pointed out that the recognition would be deserved, but at present the problem is finding enough specialized cooks, he explained, as recalls the boom in tourism in recent months. Chefs and cooks alike have all understood this and they are busy promoting this throughout the city. “Many schools offering cooking classes are emerging where you can learn the secrets of making Bolognese sheet pastry.” For chefs, however, the numbers are still not enough. “We need good ones, but watching a TV program is not enough to improvise for quality cooking.”
The knot is crucial, because, according to the right hand man of the mayor, “today in the field of gastronomy there are not enough professional figures of this type, but if we do not want to be a one stop wonder city for tourism, we must invest in skills. We need ambition to become a cultural capital.”
The protection of the tortellino is now official. The De.Co. brand (a sort of DOP but at the municipal level) is only the beginning. “It’s the first time we use this tool, on input from the Tour-Tlen association,” Lepore recalls. “In the future we will take care of promoting this brand around the world and there will also be a recognizable logo, which restaurants can use as a certificate quality,” provided that in their menus they respect the original recipe deposited in the Chamber of Commerce for more than 40 years and use quality products.