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12 settembre 2012

BANANA REPUBLIC



Alzi la mano chi penserebbe mai di annoverare la Svizzera tra le Repubbliche delle banane. A prescindere dal clima - poco tropicale nonostante l'influenza del famoso effetto serra - la confederazione elvetica non è il prototipo della nazione politicamente instabile ed economicamente vincolata ai proventi di un modesto settore agricolo gestito da multinazionali straniere.

Banana republic è, infatti, il termine con il quale lo scrittore americano O. Henry nel 1904 descriveva l'Honduras in “Cabbages and Kings”. Successivamente è diventato sinonimo della collusione, frequente in America latina e nei Caraibi, fra stato e interessi monopolistici al fine di privatizzare i profitti e socializzare le perdite. Il tema è stato affrontato anche da Pablo Neruda nella poesia La United Fruit Co.

Viste le premesse è difficile applicare questo scenario ad un paesino di seimila abitanti dell'Oberland Bernese. Eppure a Frutigen (mi verrebbe da dire “un nome e un programma”, se non che in tedesco frutta si dice Obst) non solo crescono banane, ma anche mango, papaya e altri frutti tropicali, oltre al … caviale! 

Noblesse oblige. A rendere possibile questa insolita filiera è stata niente meno che un'opera infrastrutturale. Quando si dice che l'edilizia è il traino dell'economia. All'inizio del nuovo millenio gli scavi per  la costruzione del tunnel ferroviario del Loetschberg (che con i suoi 34,6 km è il più lungo al mondo) hanno intercettato una sorgente termale. Deviarla nel vicino fiume era fuori discussione, in quanto l'aumento di temperatura dell'acqua avrebbe causato la moria di tutta la fauna ittica autoctona.


Un ingegnere con l'hobby della pesca ha avuto un'idea geniale: impiantare un allevamento di storioni e contemporaneamente riscaldare delle serre in cui coltivare frutta esotica. Con la tipica mentalità della gente di montagna, abituata a sfruttare ogni risorsa al 100%, il passo successivo è stato rendere l'azienda visitabile. Il biglietto d'ingresso permette di visitare delle sale espositive, oltre alle serre e alle vasche esterne. 

Una guida spiega come l'azienda sia riuscita nell'impresa di conciliare la montagna, le energie rinnovabili, l'agricoltura e l'allevamento ittico sostenibile con un'offerta turistica basata sull'alimentazione esotica. I prodotti di produzione propria sono degustabili, in combinazione con prodotti regionali e stagionali, nel ristorante interno all'azienda. Ovviamente gli elvetici non perdono occasione per dimostrare la propria efficienza: per i bambini sono previste zone attrezzate, interne ed esterne, per  leggere, dipingere e giocare, mentre tutti i percorsi sono accessibili anche ai disabili. Gli unici non ammessi sono i cani, ma nessuno è perfetto, nemmeno gli Svizzeri.

A cura di Claudia Peduzzi


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