Trout is a product of excellence of our area that is not given the attention it deserves. To optimise its potential, we have chosen to process exclusively trout farmed in alpine spring water, using the traditional smoking technique, but with a modern twist. This is what we do.
Lorenzo is walking along the shores of the Green Lake. We are at an altitude of almost one thousand and seven hundred metres above sea level, a kilometre away from the village of Champoluc, in the upper Val d’Ayas, in the Italian region of Valle d’Aosta. Next to the lake flows the river Évançon, which runs through the valley to finally merge into the Dora Baltea river.
The Évançon originates from one of the Monte Rosa glaciers and feeds the Green Lake, a small body of water equipped for recreational fishing. Lorenzo Quaccia was keen to take us all the way up here, to show us the sort of place from where he obtains the raw material he uses in his workshop, Altura, to make his “smoked alpine trout”.
This is the idea that in 2017 allowed him to win the third start-up prize offered at the end of RestartAlp, the course run by Fondazione Edoardo Garrone and Fondazione Cariplo for innovative businesses across the Alps. “All of the fish we process are bred in alpine spring water” explains Lorenzo, who was born in 1993.
Indeed, the quality of the fish is largely determined by the quality of the water in which they live. Spring water guarantees purity and a constantly-low temperature all year round, making the flesh leaner and ensuring better nutritional values. The suppliers chosen by Altura are located in the Cuneo province and are Mondovì-based Società Agricola San Biagio and Mellea-based Troticoltura Testa. “Trout is a product of excellence of Valle d’Aosta, although it is not given the attention it deserves. There are many farms in the area, but the majority are cheese or cured pork fat producers (author’s note: Lard d’Arnad is a Protected Designation of Origin product). Before us, no one processed trout round here” notes Quaccia. “Our target for 2020 – he adds – is to bring the entire production chain in Valle d’Aosta”.