There is a lot of talk about knowing where your food comes from, how it is raised, who produces it and so on. I have read the books, listened to the podcasts. I feel like I am pretty in touch. Living in Rome makes it pretty easy. I love a trip to the countryside. Add some cute furry animals and cheese (and wine) and nothing could stop me from getting in the car.
Fattoria Il Secondo Altopiano is a 15 hectare farm that is just a short drive from Orvieto and is run by a young couple one Sicilian and one Roman. When we arrived Emmanuele (the Sicilian) was finishing his morning milking chores and Alessandra (the Roman) took us straight to the three tiny baby goats who were just a few weeks old and just ridiculously cute. We toured the barn filled with mama goats munching on hay, teenage goats jumping and trying to escape their pens, a hen laying eggs that scared away a curious barn cat and an energetic sheepdog that wanted us to see every corner.
Next we were able to see how all of this lovingly created (100 liters a day!) goats milk is made into 30 different cheeses. Emmanuele explained the daily process of culturing, mixing and aging his delicious creations. While he was showing us cheese forms and explaining the importance of wild molds and yeast in the room Alessandra was preparing a carefully curated tray of cheese that we would soon get to sample with some wine that is grown and produced just a few miles away.
For me the visitor, this morning spent on the farm seemed kind of idyllic. I thought about the joy that working with your life partner, in a beautiful place, producing delicious food could bring. I have no illusions though. The secret to the success of this family operation requires both the dream and the passion and the desire and fortitude for the tenacious hard work. I am happy I can come and visit.
You can visit too. A trip to Fattoria Il Secondo Altopiano is part of my pal Elizabeth's Week in Rome experience.