Farina bóna is a traditional corn flour produced in the Onsernone Valley, one of the poorest and most inaccessible parts of the Canton of Ticino. The distinctive flavor of the flour is obtained by toasting the corn kernels (Zea mais) and grinding the grain very finely, using special grinders such as those still found around Vergeletto, a municipality in Ticino with a population of just 90 people.
The origin of farina bóna is not known, but several elderly inhabitants of Vergeletto still remember the similar farina sec’a, which was produced by Signora Annunziata Terribilini until she died in 1958. Known as Nunzia, she prepared this flour by toasting the corn kernels in a pan until they popped and then grinding them, as opposed to the typical farina verda flour that was ground without being toasted.
Farina bóna was once an important part of the daily diet in the Onsernone Valley and was eaten mixed with water or milk (hot or cold), and with blueberries, strawberries or wine. However, changing food habits after the Second World War progressively reduced its importance. Production ended when the last miller in valley stopped working at the end of the 1960s.
Valle Onsernone, Ticino canton
Presidium supported by
Paolo Bassetti – Pianezzo
tel. +41 918573093
Toasting and grinding
Ilario Garbani – Cavigliano
tel. +41 787094885
Marco Morgantini – Mulino Meletta
Loco – Valle Onsernone
tel. +41 917806036 / +41 795981075