Il pane di Silvione

Silvione's bread

by Nicola Giuntini

On 23 September 2023 we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the GIUNTINI BAKERY, I have already written how much this anniversary was sought after but unexpected, unexpected because since I became aware of the notarial document that dated the bakery to 20 October 1902, I had done a lot of research, without any success in truth.

In the 70s, I don't remember the year, Giordano Giuntini, my father's cousin, celebrated an anniversary of TRATTORIA SILVIONE. What I don't remember precisely is whether they were celebrating their 70th or 75th birthday. I will try to find out more and write about it at another time.

In any case I'm talking about 1971 or 1976, this is because Giordano said that his father or grandfather had told him, regarding the purchase of the land in Ponte alla Zoppa, now Silvione, that in 1901 a compromise had been made between the parties and that this compromise had been perfected with the notarial deed in 1902.

So Giordano maintained that the Giuntini company dated back to at least 1901. For a long time a compromise had been sought, without ever finding it, so I had always indicated 1902 as the certain date of origin of the bakery and the centenary was celebrated with around 10 months late for the city fair in September 2003.

Today we know with certainty that a Giuntini company already existed on 23 September 1873 and that Silvio Giuntini (Silvione) was its founder.

150 years is a really good milestone, which is why I wanted to celebrate, among other things, by also trying to recreate a product that had some characteristics attributable to a bread made by Silvio in 1873.

I got to work with my friend and dough and baking colleague Pierino Capecchi and together we thought about what to do.

We liked to think of a dark colored bread because white flours were certainly not common at the time, so we selected a type 1 flour with fresh germ, stone ground, from ancient Tuscan grains.

Then we opted for a long cold leavening that brought a nice touch of acidity and internal humidity. We also thought about slow cooking that would give a good crunch to the bread crust.

Finally we liked to think of some modern touches that would give depth to the product, let's say that there are some secret ingredients... and like all Pulcinella secrets, I leave them to your imagination.

And here is Silvione's bread, and we are already at the third test, a test that you will be able to taste and judge in the next few days of September. Personally I like it a lot!

I thought a lot about what name to give to this bread and on this too, the discussion with Pierino and my family was enlightening. The choice went precisely to “Pane di Silvione”.

I didn't know my great-great-grandfather, which is why when I think of Silvione I first think of my home. It's where I was born, it's where my roots are, it's where I find my childhood memories. So this bread, precisely because it was built on the expertise and knowledge acquired by Silvio, Dario, Amedeo, Franco, Nicola and today Jonathan and Tommaso, is as if it were a slice of bread from my history, an authentic and constitutive slice.

However, Silvio is also a person who I have not been able to meet but whose steps I feel I can still follow today in what we were, in what we have become and in what we will be. A person to whom I feel I owe respect and gratitude for having started this story, this belonging, which in my eyes is extraordinary and a little magical.

So have a good taste of Pane di Silvione, and through this tasting, a good taste of the history of the Giuntini house.

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