"Le Vie del Pane" is the suggestive name for a festival that claims to enter directly into the heart of Matera. It is a high road towards traditions that are as archaic as stones -although never lost- and proudly flaunted in Matera, the European capital of culture 2019 Program. This incredible relationship -now official- will avoid the easy clichés of the “panino with the original shape”. It is quite the opposite, since the link between Design and Bread is a serious thing in Matera. Two exhibitions, "Bread for Earth" and "Pan Madre" were in fact inaugurated on June 6 at Mulino Alvino factory. Here, European designers were invited to join the famous stones and taste the food symbol of the local tradition, the PGI Matera bread.
ESSENTIAL AS BREAD.
DESIGNERS REINTERPRET DAILY TASTE IN MATERA.
The initiative that brought ADI and Slow Food together invited designers to reinterpret daily rituals and family memory, from the filling to the spoon used for “scarpetta”(dunking bread in the plate’s sauce or left-overs), up to the perfect shape of lips. It was a very important challenge, considering that we are in a land that made the stamp for bread become an art. In use until the 50’s to identify the home-made dough with the family brand, the stamp for bread was used to cook in the common oven and got a very significant meaning over time.
THE REFINED ART OF STAMP
THE HERALDRY OF THE POPULAR FAMILY
Made of olive or other precious woods, the stamp for bread -unique for each family- becomes a compendium of artistic-figurative ability due to its handle, decorated with sacred elements, human figures and domestic animals, all symbols of virility and prosperity.
"The stamps of more ancient origin had a solar symbol at the base, later replaced by the effigy of the family or the initials of the head of the family - reports Massimo Casiello, who creates iconic small sculptures in his atelier of wood in Matera - When the head of the family died, the stamp was burned and replaced by another piece, which kept the decorations but carried the initials of the successor".
PERSONAL LIKE A SYMBOL OF LOVE
IMPRESSING ON THE BREAD THE PROMISE OF A LIFE TOGETHER
If it happened to get engaged in the Murgia of Matera, one could also exchange a stamp for bread as a token of love. Offered by the claimant to the beloved woman, it could have been kept if consented, returned to reject the engagement request, or even broken in the case of a sharp and stormy breakup. Massimo Casiello today reinterprets the tradition of the stamp proposing new solutions with a more sober and stylized design. However, if you want to delve into the tradition of Matera, in the historical center you will find the workshop of Bottegaccio, where Dino Daddiego and his sons have been proposing traditional craftsmanship for years, from whistles to papier-mâché figures, and, of course, stamps for bread. And if you are fascinated by the details of the ancient shepherds’ emblems, you must visit the antique shop of Manuele Mancini. Here, he recovers memory symbols and gives them a shape using different kinds of wood: from maple, to cherry, up to Turkey oak (the male of the common oak), transferring to the stamp veins, colors and aromas that will be kept on the soft bread.