When we first arrived at the factory we got introduced to Andrea jr and he swept us away in all the different variety of pastas. They have so much variety starting with one of my all time favorite Stelline. Then they have Penne rigate, Mezzi rigatoni, Gramigna, Capellini d Angelo, Linguine, Ruote Pazze and Spaghetti. These are just to name a few.
As we were talking we noticed the gentleman at the front door buzzing to get in was non other than Mr. Benedetto Jr himself. He entered the factory in a classic suit and tie with his suspenders equipped with a bright smile and vibrant personality.
When he spoke to us about his family history and the durum wheat his family has been growing for generations his entire face lit up with joy. He eyes twinkled with pride and his families passion for pasta made from the best durum wheat.
Their families legacy goes back all the way to 1872 with Andrea Cavalieri Sr who started a commercial enterprise and it was inaugurated in 1918 as ¨ Mills and Pasta Factory Benedetto Cavalieri.¨ Which means they have been in the wheat business and making pasta for over a century.
Back as far as they can recall their family has had clear intentions to produce first choice pasta with their fine and selected durum wheat. They invented the drying system for pasta called Metodo Cirillo which was to avoid drying the pasta in the streets, a customary practice at the time.
Now Benedetto Jr is running the firm and has been for more than 40 years. He has been consolidating the presence of foreign markets and since he has been involved in the firm they have won a great deal of national and international awards.
Now there is a fourth generation member of the pasta making family Andrea Jr. Who has been working with his father in their artisan pasta factory since 2007 helping Benedetto Cavalieri pasta be known around the world for how careful they are at selecting their Italian durum wheat since the early 19th century.
Their pasta is loved by the pasta purists around the world. The wheat is in the hills in the heart of Apulia and Basilicata in fields that are carefully chosen and the wheat is cultivated without the use of any chemical fertilizers.
They use a processing method that they call the ¨ Delicate Method .¨ This method is used to ensure a full experience of chewy texture and a aromatic flavor of the durum wheat. The Delicate Method consists of long kneading, a slow pressure, for the drawing and drying out they use low temperature.
The kneading stages- They have cold kneading first at tempuratures that do not reach above 35 C and 95 F. This prevents Thermic Denaturation of gluten which is contained in the wheat.
The Long Kneading, Slow pressing and Drawing stage- Straight from the kneading machine the dough is gently pressed through a mould which they say prevents the mechanical destruction of gluten and carbohydrates.They are still using the bronze alloy moulds.
After that the pasta has to be dried which brings us to the Drying stage at a low temperature. This helps to avoid the denaturation of protein and carbohydrates. The long cuts such as spaghetti are hung on reeds and then put through the drying process.
The drying process for the long cuts takes place in drying rooms with alternating periods of moderately warm ventilation and rest period. They have four different levels for the drying of the long cuts.
The short cuts such as Penne are cut by motor knives and cut into segments while coming out of the mould. They are then placed on conveyor belts that push them into the drying room. In the drying room they go through similar drying treatments as the long cuts.
The Drying process takes any where from 36 to 40 hours depending on the shape, thickness and cut of the pasta. The temperature doe not get more than 54 C- 129F and the pasta itself reaches only 40C- 104F.
With the different blends of the semolina, the different shapes, the thickness mixed with different drying times all this adds to the different tastes and character of each shape of pasta.
They state that their Delicate Method permits to obtain the excellence of the nutritional quality, as it preserves the precious biological and nutritive values of durum wheat and at the same time the excellence of the organoleptic quality as it brings out the unique taste people still love today.
Since 2005 Pastificio Benedetto Cavalieri has been appointed Learning Centre of the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo. They have a great many Chefs, foodies and restaurants that will not use any other pasta they swear by it.
Thanks for joining us today in Assassins of Flavor- Benedetto Cavalieri. Please feel free to like, comment and subscribe and until next time stay blessed my friends. Much Love!