So Salone del Gusto has finished and we will have to wait until 2018 for the next one. It was lovely that this year it was held around Turin with its castles and palaces as a stunning setting. The wine tastings were a highlight as they were held in the Royal Palace of Turin with tutored tastings in frescoed rooms lit by crystal chandeliers and stunning views of the Mole to enhance the experience.
There was also no entrance fee this year which meant an estimated 500,000 visited the fair. This also meant it was quite crowded with a more diverse crowd than two years ago. Salone del Gusto was held earlier in the year than normal, most likely to increase the chances of good weather, but it meant that some products like the coveted white truffle were not yet in season. We were exceptionally lucky with the weather and it was nice to enjoy the remaining days of sunshine.
This year, each setting (Piazza San Carlo, Via Roma, Parco Valentino, etc.) each offered an array of regions to explore so that if you only visited one location, you should still have a sample of each region in Italy. In this respect, I rather missed the normal Salone del Gusto setting in the Lingotto because although it is infinitely less aesthetically pleasing, the Italian regions were all grouped together which helped to really emphasise the regional differences. As there were no tops or sides to the stands in the Lingotto, exhibitors would chat in dialect to each other amongst hanging displays of bunches of tomatoes, bergamots, lemons, etc. creating a particularly atmospheric effect. I also noticed that some of the smaller producers I have met previously in the past were not there this year and it did seem to me to feature more of the larger producers. However, all in all, it was a Salone del Gusto not to be missed.
I am still editing the 3,100 photos I took during the fair, but here are some of the highlights: