CIAM meets Urbani Tartufi

CIAM meets Urbani Tartufi in a collaboration that enhances innovation and converges in a common look toward the future of excellence and Made in Italy.

Interview with Andrea Pascolini
General Director Urbani Tartufi

The occasion was the collaboration born during the recent edition of the country’s most important food and wine fair, Cibus, during which the connecting element between CIAM and Urbani Tartufi was the supply of two K2 refrigerated display cases. But the real meeting was born between two environments such as truffle and refrigeration technology, seemingly distant, but able to create a dialogue that uses a common alphabet. This is also why we met with Urbani Tartufi’s general manager, Andrea Pascolini, to get a closer look at the visions of a company that has always been an expression of excellence.

Dr. Pascolini, what makes a company today competitive in the international arena and synonymous with “Made in Italy”?

This question corresponds to the same question we ask ourselves every day within Urbani Tartufi, and from our point of view the crux is all about investing in the quality of what we produce and sell, which in our case certainly corresponds to the quality of all products, whether they are fresh truffles or their packaged declinations. I am of the idea that realities such as ours, which represents one of Italy’s excellences at the international level, must set this as a goal in order to project themselves in the world and remain in the realm of excellence.

We know how imperative it is today to add the value of sustainability to Made in Italy. How does a company so deeply connected to the earth act in this regard?

Sustainability is another area that involves excellent companies and their development, but if until recently it was perceived as an issue that could presuppose investments that were not easy to deal with, and with goals that were falsely distant from those of the company-so it almost took on a negative connotation-nowadays things have changed, and not only because of the global urgency to which companies must respond.

Urbani Tartufi was able to experiment first and confirm later that it is possible to design and develop actions aimed at sustainability, particularly environmental and social. Practices that at the same time bring economic benefits to the company: in this sense, our calling card is represented by Truffleland. A project, and today a company, that achieves the above objectives and that stems from two fundamental elements such as the deep connection with the land, which represents the essence of Urbani Tartufi, and the profound passion that the Urbani family, and all those who are somehow connected to it, have for truffles. Hence, the awareness that the future of this precious fruit represents one of the fundamental objectives in which to invest.

For reasons ranging from climate change to those involving certain agricultural assets such as abandonment or lack of land maintenance, we all know how endangered its wild production is now, especially in Italy. Truffleland and truffle farming represent the tools to secure the future of truffles and do it in a sustainable and profitable way. A sustainability action that does not only look at the interests of a company that produces and sells truffles, but also acts on the preservation of the environment and deep in the rural territories from a social, economic and cultural point of view.

Speaking of territory, during the last edition of the Cibus fair we saw the collaboration of two Umbrian companies: what kind of connection came about with CIAM?

If in the case of Truffleland and truffle farming we know that by now the era of experimentation is outdated, in the case of Cibus and the encounter with CIAM technology we wanted to look for innovation, evolution that follows the pace of technology. I believe that in this case the connection was not only determined by belonging to the same territory, but represents the result of energies, impulses and visions that converge in a constant desire for innovation and, in different ways, for the future. And to tell the truth, if I imagine it is rare to see truffles inside CIAM showcases-rather accustomed to containing confectionery, eno-gastronomic products or bottles of wine and champagne-I can guarantee that from Urbani Tartufi’s point of view, the use that was made of the K2 showcases during the last edition of Cibus was aimed at bringing out a new look, a different opportunity for the consumption of truffles, certainly not so appropriate in traditional environments.

An issue we would have talked about regardless, because it has always been the subject of in-depth study among experts, that of truffle preservation.

Yes, undoubtedly truffle preservation is a topic that never ceases to fascinate. It is true that in some restaurants we are used to seeing fresh truffles as they are displayed on precious trays or sliced at the table, but the truth is that truffles, by their nature, are seasonal, so the four species we are used to consuming are only fresh for three months of the year. And this is where the provocation/experiment that we wanted to bring to Cibus, with the help of CIAM technology, comes in: if in the season when it is fresh we can select, clean and prepare the truffle so that it can be frozen, we can also increase its opportunities for consumption at times of the year when it would otherwise not be available. It is no coincidence that at Cibus in the CIAM showcases there were magnificent fine black truffles on display, hence winter, and I think the result was convincing and appreciated, not only for the innovative character, but for the quality that distinguished our products.