Monday, June 20, 2011

Where going to school consists exclusively of eating and drinking

Our quest to find a good restaurant open for lunch on a Wednesday led us into the town of Pollenzo, not far from the amusingly named town of Bra which is the birthplace of the Slow Food movement. A Slow Food-associated but high-end restaurant called Guido had been highly praised, and we were anxious to try it since was supposed to be open for lunch. Of course it wasn't, but that was how we ended up on the campus of the Universita degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche, literally translated as the University of Gastronomic Sciences.

From University of Gastronomic Sciences website
We found ourselves in a corner of the campus that housed two restaurants, the hotel front lobby and a bar. There was a big sign at one of the entrances obviously depicting areas where photography was and was not allowed, but since we didn't really understand where we were in relation to the sign, we ended up not taking any pictures. Obviously the campus is absolutely beautiful, immaculately manicured and dotted with students milling about. After wolfing down some food at the hotel bar, we picked up a brochure that outlined the degree offerings in this school founded in 2004 by the Slow Food movement.

Both the undegraduate and graduate degrees are pretty fascinating. I was never any good at history or geography, but learning the history and geography behind food and wine would at least be entertaining. The best part of the curriculum for the 3-year undergraduate program has got to be practical component, the thematic and regional study trips - check out the options and a sample schedule:
 
Thematic Study Trip
YEAR I

  • Cured meats
  • Coffee
  • Pasta
YEAR II
  • Cheese
  • Ortofrutta
  • Rice

YEAR III
  • Olive Oil
  • Beer
  • Fish


 
It essentially sounds like 3 years of eating and drinking, where you come out with a degree at the end and you can call yourself a gastronome. I don't know how similar the Pollenzo program is to the Boston University Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy program, and I'm surprised that the two schools don't seem to be collaborating, but in any case I may find myself in Italy when I need a career change.

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