It is as though artisanal cultivation were a large magnifying glass pointed at the raw materials: it emphasizes the characteristics, it reveals the secrets and it tells the story. For this reason, obtaining a plate of healthy, nourishing, tasty pasta means weighing up all the choices, starting with the selection of the variety of hard wheat. The qualitative values must be in agreement, just like a musical composition: the quantity of protein, the gluten index, the yellow index and the test weight. Only in this way can the final symphony call itself quality. Criteria of balance and proportion shape all the operative stages and how the words themselves come about, even the fields that surround the pasta factory - after the growing of wheat has depleted them of nutrients by absorbing their richness - are cyclically sown with peas or beans; species that restore the land to its original fertility. The Mancini farm's fields, therefore, look like an elegant, multicoloured quilt, according to a typical agronomic tradition in Marche that enhances the aesthetic of the landscape whilst preserving the productivity of the land. In summertime the gilt of the near-ready corn sits alongside the soft brown of the fields that have been harvested, whilst the yellow of the sunflowers - a rotation crop - stands out next to the potent green of the legumes and the alfalfa.
Bent over themselves because of the weight of the grains but just strong enough because the tops do not touch the ground, the ears of corn that pack the slopes of the Mancini farm meet their destiny during the months of June and July: threshing. The sluggish sound of combine harvesters emanates under the sun and showers of golden flakes, perfumed by the land, whirl through the air. San Carlo and Levante durum wheat, both cultivated on the same surfaces, are the two varieties selected to become pasta. The first adapts well to the south-facing soil that is well aired, while the second gives excellent results, even on the plains and the colder slopes. However, in harmony with grandfather Mariano's spirit of enterprise, one part of the land is reserved each year for the experimentation of new crops to add to the usual pairing, like annual variations of an already perfect musical score.
A common thread unites all the phases of work at the Mancini pasta factory. It is the idea of enveloping and protecting. And it is an energ y that pulsates predominantly in autumn, when the San Carlo and Levante are stored in silobags; polythene bags laid out on a wide, flat surface similar to extremely long, parallel pillows. After many weeks of light the grain is put aside to rest sheltered from sunlight, which is repelled by the white of the casing.
A protected repose that does not demand the aid of chemical components, given that it takes advantage of the ventilation of the grains; thereby favouring the natural development of carbon dioxide, which is perfect for inhibiting the growth of organisms that are harmful to the health of the crop.