Exquisite artisan bread by La Risorgiva at the NaturaSi Venezia store in Calle della Regina
Bread, the most staple of all staple foods, a heavenly good. Whether soft or crunchy, loafs and buns have the power to pervade the surrounding streets with their tempting perfume. Not all bread, though, is created equal and -personally- I tend to be quite fussy about it. My new addiction is the turmeric, carrot, sunflower and poppy seed loaf sold at the NaturaSi Venezia store in Calle della Regina.
I go to the organic store at least once a week, the manager -Andrea- is a really friendly young fellow, so we started talking and when I told him that that carrot loaf (not to mention the one with walnuts) has become a seriously addictive drug for me, he informed me that the producers were coming to his shop on the Saturday to present their company. So I went to meet them! The bakery is called La Risorgiva and is located in Sant'Alberto di Zerobranco, a tiny country town in the province of Treviso. I can't tell you how happy I am to have gone, because now that I met the family behind these delicious breads I am even happier to support them.
The company is managed by 5 brothers and sisters and was started about ten years ago by their mother, a lady called Maria Luisa who was extremely passionate about nature and felt the need to do something positive for the environment. Initially, she started a vegetable garden, which had to be cultivated exclusively with natural methods that respect the cycles of the seasons and the land. When she passed away, her five kids decided to continue her work and, about 4 years ago, in addition to the vegetable crops, they also started a bakery!
Consider that their fields are located on a surface of about 25 hectares on a plain of alluvial origin surrounded by water springs, thus their produce benefits from the quality of such waters. The family produces three types of flour (spelt, whole and a type 2 flour) and uses some other flours, like semolina and rye, that are anyway produced by other organic bakeries part of the ECOR food supply chain, which guarantees quality control. All flours are rigorously stone ground by an incredibly slow two-wheel machine that, keeping the temperatures low, allows to preserve the organoleptic features without "cooking" the grains.
Obviously, through this method one will never obtain a white and thin flour (the 00 type). In fact, their flours have a darker colour, but at least they are rich in vitamins (especially of the B group), minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron...just to mention a few) and nutrients! Another great feature is the use of sourdough (and not brewer's yeast), characterised by the presence of yeasts and bacteria that activate the two fermentation processes, like the alcoholic and the acid-lactic fermentations. The latter is important especially because it adds an intense and aromatic perfume to the bread and makes it easier to digest and preserve.
The bread is then baked in a wood oven, the most suitable method for an organic product. Wood, in fact, is a great renewable and one of the most eco-friendly energy source. This type of oven obliges to follow natural and slower rhythms and allows a more homogeneous cooking, which makes the bread soft and moist inside and nice and crunchy on the outside (therefore, it lasts longer!). To put it simply, using Massimo Bottura's words, "Bread is gold" (title of his latest and -super cool- book). Food is incredible and if we all started to learn more about the behind the scenes of how it is produced, well, we would probably make better choices not only for our health, but also for the environment!
Anyway, going back to us, if you want to taste them just go to the NaturaSi Venezia shop and get an assortment of breads. Just two things: the first one is that I must warn you that it's not going to be easy to choose, then I want to ask you (please) to leave at least a small piece of my turmeric and carrot drug, so when you buy it just ask if Nicoletta -this is, me- has already picked up her piece! Of the other types, I also adore the loafs with: spelt and olives, semolina, walnuts and raisins, pumpkin and chocolate chips and the one made with rice flour. The small cakes are excellent too, sweetish but not too sweet (no added sugar in the sweet breads, only the tarts and muffins have a little bit of organic brown sugar) and something you really ought to try are the focacce!
Not only do the Donadi brothers make the bread, they also produce the veggies with which these focacce are stuffed! The base is whole and vegan, while the fillings are vegan or vegetarian (the cheese, obviously, is organic and produced by another company part of the same supply chain). Right now I can't resist the ones with pumpkin and soy beens and the one with zucchini and green olives... OMG!!!! So much deliciousness ... plus, their focaccia really makes a great snack/lunch, no risk of feeling hungry afterwards!
So, what I can suggest is: if you live here, go there and try their breads right now; while if you are just visiting... well, stop by for a nice snack and get yourself a loaf and, maybe, a jam or chocolate/nut spread and have it toasted for your morning breakfast! So good...
Let me know!
Address: S. Croce, 2264, 30135 Venezia VE - map
Phone: +39 041 523 9515
La Risorgiva - +39 389 164 6134