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Pistoia Box: Pastificio Chelucci

We are near an old railway station on the Porrettana, which once linked Pistoia directly with Bologna, a fundamental route linking northern and central Italy, built just a few years after national unification. A little further downstream, we see the sign of a historic artisan pasta factory. After welcoming us, Giuseppe tells us how the line of this very special pasta, the one we have chosen, was created: a few years ago, on behalf of Pastificio Chelucci, schools in Pistoia were asked to develop a theme associated with pasta. After a few months, the many proposals from the students were analysed, and they identified ‘Pinocchio’ and his fable, so close to the territory of Pistoia (Collodi is just over twenty kilometres away, also in the province of Pistoia), as the subject to be chosen as the protagonist of the new pasta format. From there, different formats were created, such as the hat of the talking cricket, the profile of the whale and the famous long nose, inspiring the suggestion printed on the packaging: “Don’t tell lies, eat them!”.

The pasta factory still uses bronze dies, which give the pasta a ‘roughness’ that makes it anything but homogenous, as if each mouthful deserves to be savoured as if it were the first taste. Giuseppe reminds us that the pasta tradition in Pistoia has always been solid: in the city there are still factories that produce the dies that are sold all over the world and after the Second World War there were many pasta factories in the city. Then they wanted to shorten production times by drying the pasta at over 100 degrees, while Pastificio Chelucci is one of the few remaining pasta factories in Italy to operate at a different pace, more in line with the craftsmanship of the product. The result is a pasta with a delicate taste, rooted in tradition and, with the homage to the Pinocchio fable, in Italian literature.