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24 May 2016

Agugiaro & Figna Mills: When Flour Matters


The name Agugiaro & Figna has a fine story to tell. In the 19th century, the Agugiaro family founded their mill in Padua while the Figna family ventured into their milling activity forty years after in Parma. Both mills grew and by the 21st century, they ventured into an even bigger project by merging together. With hundreds of years of experience, expertise and deep knowledge in the field, Agugario & Figna Mills became one solid foundation of the most important flour maker in Italy that has mills in Parma, Padua and Perugia producing 280,000 tons of flour annually. Never wavering from their original mission, they continue to bring excellent semi-finished high quality flour.
Upper 2 photos in the collage taken from Agugiaro & Figna website.

Agugiaro & Figna has a number of flour lines in production but I would like to center my interest on two that I got to know over the past months, the Le 5 Stagioni, and A&F Storie di Farina in Cucina (Stories of Flour in the Kitchen). Then there's a third one that I would like to introduce to you which is their newest line, the Grani Antichi, which is of limited production.

Photo taken from Le 5 Stagioni Facebook page
Le 5 Stagioni Flour. When I say that pizza is healthy, would you agree with me? I know that outside Italy, it's known to be unhealthy food. We can look at pizza as healthy food when the flour used has good quality, the dough was worked on by the pizza maker in the proper way, giving a proper amount of time for fermentation, and if the toppings used are minimal, fresh and of good quality. The sudden popularity of the Pizza Diet of Chef Pasquale Cozzolino of the Ribalta Pizzeria in NYC was born out of these properties. He uses Le 5 Stagioni Flour of Agugiaro & Figna exclusively in his pizzeria. It is the company's flour line that has been developed specifically for making pizzas.

Pizza dough at Pizzeria Marina, a pizzeria in Fiumicino, using Le 5 Stagioni flour.

When a pizza is good, you digest it easily. If it is not good, it stays in your tummy like a stone. The soul of the pizza is not on the toppings that you put but the dough of the pizza itself. If the flour is good and the pizza chef worked on it well, then you get yourself a digestible pizza which is the aim of every pizza chef and flour maker who care about the quality of every pizza that comes out of the oven. The Research and development team of Agugiaro & Figna maintains an open relationship with the pizza chefs using Le 5 Stagioni to further develop a kind of flour that meets the needs of the clients. 

Balls of dough at Pizzeria Marina, a pizzeria in Fiumicino, using Le 5 Stagioni flour.

A&F Storie di Farina in Cucina. Every kitchen tells a story. This flour line is dedicated to the restaurant professionals which caters to every culinary use. These are pasticceria (pastry), pane (bread), pasta, pizza & focaccia, and frittura (frying). Every kind of flour is created to adapt to each use of the chef. Again, with the proper knowledge of a professional plus the quality of the flour, the resulting dish comes out with excellence.
Photos taken from A&F Storie di Farina site

Since the A&F Storie di Farina are not available in the retail market like the Le 5 Stagioni, I had no way of knowing how they taste like in the finished products (unless I take a peek in all the kitchens of the restaurants I go to). I willingly went to two of their dinner invitations where naturally, the flour line was used. The first one was in Milano, in Di Che Pasta Siamo and the second one was about a couple of weeks ago in Parma in connection with the CIBUS International Food Exhibition conducted in the same city.

Photo taken from Agugiaro & Figna website.

Antichi Grani. During the CIBUS International Food Exhibition, Agugiaro & Figna introduced their new product, the Antichi Grani. It is of limited production resulting from a synthesis of tradition and innovation. The first crop is dated 2016 and will be available starting September this year. Antichi Grani is a special meal type 2 stone-ground, rustic in appearance, coarser in texture, and has high digestibility. The grains used in the Grani Antichi flour line are the ancient indigenous grains found all over Italy that were going in extinction but after 20 years of research and development, they were able to revive them. These grains are less refined in appearance but decisively much healthier which makes them highly digestible and lower in gluten.


Different kinds of flour, including their new product, the Antichi Grani, were used by Chef Fabio Romani of Ristorante Romani in Parma. He created a full dinner course from the bread to the appetizer and down to the dessert using the flours of Agugiaro & Figna. It was a great relationship between flour and chef, more stories to tell in the kitchens where A&F are used.
 
Gnocchi fritti (fried gnocchi), a kind of traditional bread of Modena, Reggio Emilia and Bologna. Also called torta fritta (fried cake) in Parma. Realized with a combination of the A&F flour for frying and chef's flour.


Handmade tortelli with herbs and Parmigiano Reggiano and tagliatelle using A&F pasta and semolina mix flours.


Tagliatelle "30 rossi" with veal and prosciutto ragù.


The main course was accompanied by bread baskets that were filled with different kinds of bread using a variety of A&F flours, that "tells about past and present times, places near and far. It spreads its fragrances, wins with its tenderness and taste."


The dessert was an exceptional Veneziana poured with different kinds of traditional creams of chantilly, zabaione, and chocolate made with type 2 flour from the A&F Storie di Farina line.


Chef Fabio Romani concluding the magnificent dinner he prepared by serving his Veneziana with the different kinds of sauces that he prepared.


A glass of Carra di Casatico Malvasia & Moscato accompanied my Veneziana with two kinds of zabaione. 


Riccardo Agugiaro of Agugiaro & Figna Mills speaking about the importance of the role of flours in the kitchen.


Parma, a city of deep-rooted food culture came out beautifully in flavors, textures and aromas in the hands of Chef Fabio Romani and the quality-driven milling company of Agugiaro & Figna. Words are not needed to tell stories of land and traditions because in every dish, a beautiful story comes out when you put that fork in your mouth and close your eyes. 

Agugiaro & Figna flours are only available for professional use, not for retail use.

Agugiaro & Figna Molini S.P.A.

Strada del Notari, 25/27
43044 Collechio (PR), Italy
Tel: +39 0521 301701 
Fax: +39 0521 301777

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