food industry and media  January 2009

The Economist on Academia Barilla: the Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library is Food for Thought

One of the best Christmas presents Academia Barilla received this Season has [...]

One of the best Christmas presents Academia Barilla received this Season has been an article from the leading economy magazine The Economist, who dedicated a page of its paper magazine (as well as a web page) to the Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library in Parma, Italy, defining BIGAB’s mission as Food for thought

The Economist tells how “a pasta-maker gets a taste for books“, describing the Gastronomic Library’s collection of over 8,500 cookery books in more than ten languages, and nearly 5,000 menus and scores of old prints showing food in various phases of preparation.

The Economist’s journalist quotes BIGAB’s Director Giancarlo Gonizzi and the Dewey decimal system he adopted to classify the collection, besides the cultural activities scheduled at BIGAB with students (from Parma’s university, but also US visiting students) and with Parma’s city authorities. The article mentions that the library has begun digitizing its contents and plans to make them available online.

Digitalizing the entire Gastronomic Library is a long process, but currently in progress; we will definitely keep you updated on BIGAB’s online availability.

In the meanwhile, you can start enjoying the first fruits of this hard work at the new Academia Barilla website, that features an entire section dedicated to BIGAB, and started publishing online the first series of traditional Italian regional recipes, as well as fun food facts such as those about Academia Barilla’s collection of historic menus, or “At the table with…“, a section where you can discover the favorite food and recipes of great people in history, from Cato to Catherine De’ Medicis to Napoleon Bonaparte.

The content and full index of the Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library, while not currently entirely available online, it is searchable through the new Academia Barilla website, a good resource page for all food culture students, historians, chefs and food lovers!

Enjoy the food culture readings, they are food for thought!

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