Monday 26 July 2010

Libera Terra (Free land) Mafia free area

In some organic shops here in Italy you can actually find Mafia free area products... which means that these Sicilian, or Pugliese products are guaranteed to be mafia free. They have been produced on land which has been confiscated from the mafia and made for a good cause instead.
Wine, olive oil, pasta, tomato sauce- for such products, the Sicilian sun is itself a guarantee of quality. But those who market such delicacies under the label 'Libera Terra' say their products come with a bonus — the 'taste of freedom.'
'From lands freed from the Mafia', reads the light blue pack of penne rigate pasta on display among dozens of other products in these dedicated shops. To understand that label, travel 250 miles as the crow flies south, to Sicily.

A short ride from Palermo a group of young people cultivate about 490 acres of land once owned by some of the most ruthless Mafia bosses. They belong to an umbrella organization called Libera and are led by Don Luigi Ciotti, a priest who has dedicated his life to the fight against organised crime in Southern Italy. In 1995, Libera collected 1 million signatures to prompt the Italian parliament to pass a law allowing properties confiscated from convicted mobsters to be used for socially useful purposes.
The cooperative’s most successful product is a wine label, 'Centopassi' ('One hundred steps'), named after the film about a Sicilian journalist killed by the Mafia. But the cooperative grows a diverse group of crops, including wheat, melons and lentils. It is one of five co-ops that sell goods under the Libera Terra ('Free land') label, including two others in Sicily, one in Puglia and one in Calabria. The final products are sold nationwide through fair trade and organic food chains, cooperative supermarkets and three dedicated shops: in Rome, Naples and Palermo.

I have just tried this white wine from guess which town? CORLEONE!!! well balanced and pleasantly floral...

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