The World According To Renato Bialetti

On the 11th of February 2016, Renato Bialetti, the man who has made the moka pot famous in the world, has passed at the age of 93. We would like to honor his memory by honoring his family business and most importantly the moka pot, an invention that has revolutionized the way Italians, and the rest of the world can make excellent coffee even in the leisure of their homes. Moka

The Bialetti Family.

While it was Alfonso Bialetti who invented this revolutionary type of coffee maker, taking inspiration, by the way, his wife used to do laundry, it was his son, Renato, who made the passion for the stove-top creation explode worldwide.

Iconic and useful.

Italians used to be able to make coffee at home by filtering the boiling water over the ground coffee, but with the invention of the moka, which is not only a very useful tool but also a design object, the lives of Italians and others all around the globe (most of the international users of the moka are in the other countries of Europe and in Latin America) have changed radically. The Bialetti moka, as well as other moka pots made by other brands, does everything by itself thanks to the water pressure rising as the liquid comes to a boil and filters, with an upwards motion, the coffee grounds. The result varies according to the quality of the ground coffee used, temperature of water, fineness of grind and type of roast for the coffee beans used, but the coffee made with a moka affords users to drink it whenever, and with bigger moka pots coffee can be served for the whole family after a meal in just one go. Moreover, the new and improved method for extraction of coffee available thanks to the Bialetti invention gives an extraction ratio similar to (or at times higher than) that of an espresso machine found commonly at a bar or café, and the coffee made with a moka pot is decidedly stronger than one produced with drip brewing.

The method with which the moka produces coffee isn’t the only aspect that has participated in making the coffee maker an incredible invention, but it’s also the shape of the moka that has become such a symbol that nowadays most of the moka pots produced tend to keep the same design. Its shape is so recognizable by Italians and globally thanks to the effort made by Renato Bialetti who spread the love, passion and knowledge for this invention to the rest of the world.

The Bialetti Company.

 In 1952, the joined efforts with an advertiser made possible the creation of the symbol of the Bialetti company, the “little man with a mustache” that can be seen as the brand’s mascot on the moka pots produced.
We can say that the creation of Alfonso Bialetti and the efforts of Renato Bialetti have made it possible for the Italian coffee tradition to evolve, allowing women to enjoy the pleasure that was until then exclusive of men who frequented bars in their own home and allowed men to enter the kitchen to create original and high-quality coffee with a simple gesture.

What Made in Italy and Silicon Valley Have in Common

Google Cultural Institute, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies and Unioncamere, founded Made in Italy, a section of the international cultural site devoted to give users information about the authentic Italian products.

It goes without saying that we looked for Emilia Romagna features and are proud to see Aceto Balsamico di Modena, Parmigiano Reggiano, Mortadella di Bologna and other delicacies among the results. Each product page actually emphasizes their historical and geographical origins and give useful information about the production process. The gallery of products is enriched with great photos too. Each of the products can be found by keywords or by area of production looking up into a user-friendly map.

The creation of Made in Italy has been announced by Erich Schmidt, president of the Mountain View colossus, at the Big Tent of Rome last 9 October and has been realized on January 2014. The site seems to be aimed to promote the typical food and handicraft products actually Made in Italy. But it is more than that. Find out what.

asiago dop e aceto balsamico tradizionale di modena
Made in Italy – source

 New strategies for the Italian producers

As you may guess, the main target of the Made in Italy project is not only to provide a simple search tool for foodies. Eric Schmidt believe that going digital can contribute to the economic growth of many Italian agro-alimentary businesses.

Italy has many valuable products with unique taste and traditional methods of production but they need more visibility on the web. Statistics say that only 34% of Italian businesses have a website, and of these, the 13% is an e-commerce site. That means that only a minimum percentage of Italian entrepreneurs, use the Internet to advertise their products. But the situation could change since it has been noted how an accurate Internet strategy could help to grow the national income.

New opportunities for the Italian economy

Roberto Moncalvo, Coldiretti president, is proud of the Google Cultural Institute’s program since it helps to fight the Italian Sounding phenomenon – which steals up to 60 billion euros from the Italian turnover each year – through accurate information spread to international customers.

While Ministry Nunzia de Girolamo praised the initiative defining it as “link a Food Valley and Silicon Valley”, she pointed that the strategy lacks of concrete results. Maybe an e-commerce platform supporting the existing elegant gallery – she suggests – may turn into a great opportunity for the Italian SMEs to reach a wider market and sell their products worldwide.

New challenges for future partnerships

Google seems to be quite happy to give the deserved visibility to the Italian “excellences”, so they are called the products already part of the Made in Italy site. But president Eric Schmidt pointed that a fast internet connection should be available even in the rural areas of Italy since any new Internet user can turn into a new Google services user, advertiser or buyer.

While the broadband connection is on the must-do list of the Italian ministry De Girolamo, there is another step to be accomplished. That is the introduction of the famous “Google Tax” for all the international giants such as Google – but also Facebook and Amazon – since, at present, they pay only a little fee for the big amount of transactions made from Italian purchasers.

While we wait for more updates, let’s get an appetite for good things here: google.it/madeinitaly!