Laura Cavallo, “Paintings of Bread”

“Dipin­ti di Pane” (lite­ral­ly ‘Pain­tings of Bread’) was born as a tiny bake­ry in Col­le­gno, just at the gates of Tori­no, and as the foun­der Lau­ra Caval­lo tells us: “That is how it should stay. The dream is to make bread ali­ve in the community’s eve­ry­day explai­ning its good­ness and poe­try throu­gh sha­pes and colors. In order to do it, the best way is to wel­co­me the custo­mers in a sort of warm nest, in a loca­tion whe­re they have all the neces­sa­ry time to appre­cia­te the qua­li­ty and the dedi­ca­tion requi­red for its pro­duc­tion. Throu­gh this pecu­liar exer­ci­se we all reco­ver a human dimen­sion in the tra­de rela­tion­ship, that is actual­ly uptur­ned by the con­su­me­ri­st logic of the lar­ge-sca­le distribution”.

Here is one more beau­ti­ful exam­ple of “Han­di­craft”, which com­forts and sup­ports us throu­ghout our jour­ney in search of arti­sa­nal exper­ti­se. But let’s step bac­k­wards in Lau­ra Cavalli’s life, who, sin­ce her chil­d­hood, had been thin­king of a futu­re in a Hotel­le­rie School (a small seed…), then orien­ted to stu­dies in Accoun­tan­cy and a Degree in Scien­ce of Edu­ca­tion. Diver­se inte­rests, all of which impor­tant to her, mer­ging toge­ther in a pro­fes­sio­na­li­ty expen­ded in the public admi­ni­stra­tion. A deman­ding com­mit­ment, wor­king for the “public affairs”. Lau­ra is a woman of ideals and at the begin­ning she had a strong moti­va­tion, but exces­si­ve fati­gue often beco­mes a fer­ti­le ground for a chan­ge. And this is how, as it often occurs, an appa­rent ran­dom baking class opens a new path for­ward to be fol­lo­wed with passion.

In life all expe­rien­ces build up and reveal their use­ful­ness: then a new pro­ject of self-acti­vi­ty takes sha­pe, based on a con­so­li­da­ted know-how nee­ded for the busi­ness start-up. In recent years the public atten­tion for coo­king has increa­sed at all levels, but Lau­ra is mostly inte­re­sted in the che­mi­cal aspect of coo­king and bread-making. From a bir­th­day gift class stems the pas­sion and the plan for the rea­li­za­tion of a work­shop. In the wake of this great ener­gy the bake­ry “Dipin­ti di Pane” opens: an uncon­ven­tio­nal bake­ry, sin­ce then gro­wing in terms of custo­mers and staff. Lau­ra is tru­ly proud to be able to offer new employ­ment posts, as, for her, a com­mer­cial acti­vi­ty is not only busi­ness. “It’s great – she sta­tes – to have been an answer and not a solu­tion. I work a lot with clien­ts also on a human basis. I feel their eco­no­mic or wor­king hard­ship and I love to col­la­bo­ra­te with my stuff in harmony”.

Let’s focus back on the heart of the pro­ject: “My aim has always been to rein­tro­du­ce bread in the people’s eve­ry­day. It was long­ti­me lost. It has more and more been con­si­de­red resi­dual and deva­lued. I try to rein­sta­te bread digni­ty, by means of some selec­ted sim­ple pro­duc­ts (key­words), that all toge­ther are again pro­ta­go­nists of our dai­ly life. This is my commitment”.

In this tiny “nest” my custo­mers stop and buy, reser­ve or just quie­tly think about bread. And the added value is the maxi­mum qua­li­ty in the search for row mate­rials. Bread is made of long-ripe­ned sour­dou­gh one day for the other. This means mana­ging low quan­ti­ties of pro­duct. But, why “pain­ted”? “This repre­sen­ts the other aspect of the pro­ject, the con­cep­tual one: the coin­ci­den­ce of the ideas of Beau­ti­ful with Good­ness. The crea­ti­ve flair invol­ves also bread and helps me ente­ring the beau­ti­ful in the everyday.

The aesthe­tics is ano­ther value too much neglec­ted in our fri­vo­lous socie­ty. I belie­ve we need to sur­round our­sel­ves of true, sub­stan­tial Beau­ties, born to effort and fati­gue. We have been among the fir­st ones to paint on bread by cocoa or tur­me­ric. Now I do less of them and I focus more on crea­ti­ve car­vings, all but easy to obtain. We must be rea­dy to cut it, as bread inspi­re us to do. Moreo­ver, bread has a strong evo­ca­ti­ve power, unchain a ten­der olfac­to­ry memo­ry, remin­ding of grand­pa­ren­ts, of chil­d­hood. Bread is life.” We are now very curious to smell and taste the­se pro­duc­ts. Which ones are the most sold and appre­cia­ted? “Two durum wheat loa­ves, the Sici­lian one is the easie­st, the other one named Prin­cess Timi­lia is a femi­ni­ne loaf; then the ‘Se mi vuoi’ bread, made of soft wheat with a great blend of seeds: the wal­nut-bread, very rich in wal­nu­ts that I pur­cha­se from a high-qua­li­ty Vene­to-based farm. I work on big for­mat, from 1 kg abo­ve, with excep­tion of the small ‘bio­va’, coming from Pied­mont heri­ta­ge. Fur­ther­mo­re, here the­re are the flat­breads, very sim­ple, too: from the tra­di­tio­nal ‘focac­cia ligu­re’ to the color­ful vege­ta­rian, always gar­ni­shed with fresh vege­ta­bles. The ‘pan­brio­che’, the ‘kanel­bul­lar’, a typi­cal Swe­dish cake in the sha­pe of clew with honey and cin­na­mon fla­vo­red stings…”.


Cor­so Fran­cia 251 bis – COLLEGNO
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