Giulio Gerardi – The Interview

According to sacred scriptures, the Manna is an edible substance provided by God himself for the Israelites during their wanderings in the desert after being delivered from slavery in Egypt. Though in terms of temperatures and vicissitudes our Journey through Sicily made the Exodus look like a pleasant stroll, we too found some Manna on our way. By the town of Pollina, after one of the toughest climbs of the entire Journey, we entered the fields of ash trees whose sap, aptly extracted and dried, constitutes what you will find today under the name of Manna. A product unique to Sicily, dating back at least a thousand years and well known for its therapeutic properties as well as for its multiple applications in cosmetics. Today, the Manna is a Slow Food Presidium. We were lucky enough to be guided by one of the last traditional ash tree farmers, by far the most renowned, who continues the ancient art of the ‘ntaccaruolo (the sap extractor): Giulio Gelardi. An unforgettable character, Giulio makes it almost impossible to think of the Manna without picturing him. A millenary tradition lives on in Giulio, whose personality bridges mysticism, connection with nature, historical research and powerful feelings of identity. Inventor of a tecnique to extract pure Manna which has allowed farmers to reappropriate profits which were exclusive to the food-processing industry in the past, Giulio tells us his story in this interview. This interview is part of the series recorded during our Journey through Sicily. To watch the full interview follow the link below:

Giulio Gerardi – Full Interview

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