(VELINO) Roma, 27 Sep - Afghanistan took part in the Terra Madre Salone del Gust...

(VELINO) Roma, 27 Sep - Afghanistan took part in the Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in Turin, one of the most important international events dedicated to gastronomy, which ran in the Italian city from 22 to 26 September. Representing Afghan food were more than 300 kg of Abjosh raisins from Herat, a product that the "Slow Food" foundation lists among the traditional foods at risk of disappearing. The Italian Embassy in Kabul announced on its website that the raisins arrived in Turin in 19 crates after a journey of over two days. Combined efforts by the Farnesina, through its Crisis Unit and the Embassy in Afghanistan, and the Ministry of Defence, through its Inter-Force Operational Command (COI) and its military attache' in Kabul, allowed the raisins to be transported on a military aircraft inbound from the Asian nation. The history of Herat's grapes is shrouded in mystery, but tradition has it that they was first grown as far back as 2000 B.C. by nomadic peoples who roamed Central Asia at the time. Before the Soviet invasion of 1979, Abjosh raisins from Herat took up a 60 percent share of the global market and were Afghanistan's main agricultural product. Only 44 of all the pre-existing varieties still exist today, with seven considered of superior quality. The "Slow Food" organisation and the University of Herat worked together to analyse and catalogue 27 varieties which are still growing in the country and that differ in terms of shape, colour, texture, and use. vel