Dreams always come true, if we cultivate them with care. When in 2012 I inaugurated the Olio Officina Food Festival with – I confess – a certain degree of trepidation, I was certain that I would win my personal bet.
I soon realized that I had chosen the right moment. Even the town I had selected for this event, Milan, proved against all odds to be the best choice. If I had started this festival sooner – and indeed, I had been toying with the idea for over twenty years – it would have been a waste of energy, and the scarce outcome would have never repaid all my efforts.
One cannot always afford to be too innovative. It is of the utmost importance to choose the right moment, and be able to sense future trends. One may force things, but only a little. Insist, without being too pushy. The world of oil, but more in general the farming and food industry, have always considered raw materials as such, and only in exceptional cases have sensed the symbolic nature of products such as olive oil.
There is a reason why all the religions of the Book assign a key role to olive oil. It is certainly not because of its monetary value. Nowadays, for instance, extra virgin oil is considered a commodity, but we should never forget that it is a polysemic product, and it would be a mistake to neglect, as many still do, its status of cultural marker.
The success of my enterprise is for all to see. Nowadays, much is said and written about olive oil. It has become a popular subject, and if anything, the problem is that too much nonsense is said, often using ominous tones, evoking frauds and raising alarm. It is also common to discuss about olive oil in a disdainful manner, discriminating whoever, for a variety of reasons, cannot produce first-rate oils. Sadly, ignorance and cultural poverty are widespread. Olive oil becomes a fetish that brings out the arrogance of the speakers.
Olio Officina on the other hand aims at highlighting the beauty and positive features of oil. This is a hard task, that only few can fulfil. The bet is still on. Everybody should work relentlessly, doing everything in their power to achieve their aims. I believe that dreams do come true.
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