/Mulino Marino, Where Tradition Meets Technology

Mulino Marino, Where Tradition Meets Technology

Mulino Marino

On Friday I visited Mulino Marino, a family owned and operated mill in Cossano Belbo. You may already be acquainted with this place from this interview with apprentice miller Fulvio Marino, but to recap, Mulino Marino was founded by Felice Marino in 1955 and prides itself on producing high quality organic flour from heritage grains, corn, and other cereals. Three generations of Marinos work in the mill and third generation Fulvio took some time to meet with me and show me around. I got a crash course in traditional flour production, as well as an unexpected introduction to the mill’s very new additions.

Mulino Marino

The mill is divided between two buildings. In one, a small room contains two stone mills dating back to the 19th century. Fulvio was nice enough to disassemble one so I could get a good look at the stones and touch their surfaces. The stone came from a quarry outside Paris, and is incredibly resistent to wear and tear.

Mulino Marino

The other mill was in full swing making “burrato”, soft wheat flour. Grain was being funneled between the stones, which make 120-130 revolutions per minute (compared to 500 for an industrial machine). When the flour was expelled it was lukewarm to the touch. The limited number of revolutions and low heat keep the germ alive, which means the flour is more complete, healthier and more fragrant.

Mulino Marino

In a neighboring building, the cylinder mill laid idle. Once an important part of the mill’s production, Mulino Marino now heavily favors stone grinding. But they haven’t completely given up on modernity. On the contrary, two recent additions to the mill have propelled them into the 21st century.

Mulino Marino

Upstairs from the cylinder mill sits the Buhler Sortex Z+, an optical sorting computer that analyzes each cereal before it is sent to the mill. The Sortex removes contaminates and filters out the the grains that are dead or defective. Although Fulvio patiently described the process to me, this NASA technology (seriously!) is way beyond my reach. Neverteless, this insane piece of machinery is super cool. I half expected it to talk.

Mulino Marino

As impressive as the Sortex Z+ was, this was not the highlight of the tour. That came next. We walked around the back of Fulvio’s family home, which is right beside the mill. There, between the house and the hills, dozens of solar panels collected energy that will soon completely power the mill. “We could have built a pool here,” said Fulvio with a grin, “but we preferred this instead.”

Testo in italiano su Scatti di Gusto.

2016-01-07T03:36:33+00:00 May 3rd, 2011|Categories: Carbs, Culture, Food & Wine, Gastronomic Traditions, Piedmont|0 Comments

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  1. @passerotto May 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    So this is where the magic happens.
    Thank you for taking us inside the mulino delle meraviglie, what a wonderful privilege for us Marino fans.

    How cool about the solar panels.

  2. Mamma Parla May 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    WOW – what an amazing trip thru the mill! I hope you filled a suitcase with the burrato flour (LOL)! I have searched high and low to find it here without any luck — I can’t practice making Bonci’s pizza without it!

  3. Eric Carlson May 27, 2011 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the great post on Mulino Marino! I was able to buy a small amount of flour to bake with while in Rome – I found it at the wonderful Pizzarium! Do you know of any way to purchase the wonderful flour in the US or will they ship?

    On my vacation I was able to use Mulino Marino flour, water collected from the Roman fountains to make a sourdough starter in Grassina just outside of Firenze. I have been baking wonderful loaves that have ‘provenance’ plus a lasting vacation memory!

    Thanks for the continued inspirations!

  4. Cindy Poulos March 9, 2012 at 12:16 am - Reply

    I really like this flour mill using low tech and high tech together to make a better product.

  5. Sharlene McNeish May 20, 2012 at 11:45 am - Reply

    Thank you for the lovely post, Katie! I have used this flour for making focaccia and it is truly amazing.

    Eric Carlson: I am in Rome next Wednesday and wondered where you purchased the Mulino Marino flour?? I want to take some back home with me. grazie.

  6. Terje September 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    It’s available at BakeryBits.co.uk

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