Meditation Fruit Preserves by Cà dei Baghi
WORDS BY ROBERTA CORRADIN | PHOTOS BY LAURA SPINELLI AND FRANCESCA MOSCHENI
Trentino Alto Adige
Meditation Fruit Preserves by Ca’ dei Baghi Ca’ dei Baghi was formed from a gift; rather, from the strong desire to create a unique Christmas gift for friends. Their fruit preserves evoke the summer sun with pure flavors of Cornelian cherry, medlar, rose hip, strawberry, and raspberry. Friends requested the fruit preserves time and again, and so Tullio, a worldly farmer, created a new company …
We could never tell you the story of Ca’ dei Baghi in all of its richness. To understand, you must meet Tullio, and listen well and long (he has an orator’s ambition and acute observational skills). It seems as though he speaks of jams and marmalades, but in reality, he is reflecting on life. He is always ready to enter a discussion, always ready to learn. Tullio’s dream of becoming a farmer was brought into being amidst an industrializing Italy of the 1970s. He knew his passion was to cultivate the fruits of the earth, even when the earth was not generous, and even when bank directors did not quite understand his dream. During one year of particular financial difficulty, the traditional Christmas gift to his friends was actually packaged in his home: the Meditation fruit preserves were thus created. The name Ca’ dei Baghi is from the nickname of his uncles, who, for lack of a strong “r” in their speech (called the “r moscia” in Italian, a result of regional accents) were unable to pronounce the word “braghi” and said “baghi” instead. “Braghi” means to be in dire financial straits; Tullio was both mocking his own situation and gently poking fun at his uncles when he named the farmhouse.
It was in this family house that the Meditation fruit preserves were created, a charming home with dried corncobs hanging from the balcony to dry during winter and geraniums blooming in the summer. The flavors include the ever-popular Raspberry and Strawberry, as well as Rhubarb, Cornelian cherry, Rose hip, Pumpkin Amaretto, and Pumpkin Rum.
Why are they called “meditation” preserves? Tullio explains in his calm voice, “Because these are not preserves that you want to spread on a slice of bread. You take a spoonful during the evening and taste it slowly.”
Tullio began to understand, little by little, that having a good product was not enough, but that he also needed good packaging; that to grow successfully did not mean making the leap from artisanal to industrial; and that it won’t do to just toss in a few cheeses to appreciate it, but professional tasting courses are essential in order to value their distinct flavors. Inexhaustible, he even brainstorms during the nighttime at his computer: in fact, he created his first chutney by experimenting with a recipe found online.