Sial Paris, the second largest international food event returns to celebrate its 50th anniversary October 19-23 at Villepinte, Paris. This year, the theme of the exhibition is “50 years, 50 chefs“, where Sial will offer a gift basket with 15 carefully selected high quality food products to fifty French renowned “chefs étoilés”, led by Christian Le Squer, that will be attending the fair.
Among the 15 products, the Sial judging panel selected three from Guayapi, a French firm founded in 1990 by Claudie Ravel, to find a market for unique noble hand-picked plants from wild Amazon jungle and the hills of Sri Lanka, for use as super-foods, delicatessen products and cosmetics. Guayapi sells Sri Lankan teas and spices, cultivated using methods that support biodiversity. Guayapi works very close with aboriginal communities and is aware of the environmental and social issues they face.
The three selected products are:
- The Warana (Guarana of the original lands) of the Sateré Mawé people. Elected “Presidia” by the Slow Food movement, the Warana is a mystical plant that provides intellectual and physical energy. This Warana has historical, mythological and taxonomic values intrinsic to the Sateré Mawé. This unique quality is confirmed by the FGP certification (Forest Garden Product), which is more demanding than any green certification, thanks to specific criteria such as the soil durability or the presence of cross-pollinating species that may indicate if the biodiversity is “identical to the original ecosystems”. Oenologists say Warana has the bitterness of the dandelion and the consistence of the chestnut. It is said to awake the senses and potentiates the virtues of the whole foods associated with it.
- The Kitul Sap, which was elected Ark of Taste by Slow Food. It is a type of tree with large, beautiful flowers found in Sri Lanka. The sap from the Kitul tree is extracted from the stem of the flower. Rich in vitamins B12, B1 and C, calcium and iron, the sap contains equal parts of fructose, glucose and sucrose. This balance of nutrients cancels out the side effects of the sugar, as the body is unable to store the digested energy. Delicious, and with an amber color, the Kitul sap features pleasing caramel notes.
When the Portuguese reached the Brazilian territory and entered the Amazon rainforest 500 years ago, they observed that the aboriginal people were covered in a red powder. They were given the name “Red Skins”. What they were wearing was the Urucum powder, ingrédient they also used to add to their food. Urucum is an excellent source of provitamin A – bixin. Urucum contains 100 times more bixin than carrot contains beta carotene). The présence of bixin in synergy with selenium allows Urucum to be considered a powerful antioxidant minimizing damage to the cells from free radicals. When ingested, urucumit stimulates the production of melanin, preparing the skin to the sun.
The Sateré Mawé aboriginal people and the producers from Sri Lanka will be at the Guayapi stand at Sial in Hall 5A J 014 for the “50 years 50 chefs” celebration at Sial Paris on Monday October 20th, before heading to the Slow Food event Terra Madre in Italy.