How poor people's food became a gourmet product. The Onsernone valley is said to be the wildest valley in the region; it's also the keeper of many secrets. In 1850 more than 3000 people, mainly emigrants, lived here; today, fewer than 800 face the challenges of everyday life. This steep, winding road conceals a wealth of culture and tradition.
After 1849, it was the turn of maize to arrive in the valley from lowland areas such as Lombardy and Mendrisiotto; the carts bringing the gold travelled under arduous conditions. Maize has never been planted in the valley itself, as there is little fertile soil. Farina bóna is made using various types of maize that used to be roasted over an open fire – nowadays in a roasting pan – which is then brought to the mill for grinding at the right moment, namely when two-thirds of the grains have burst.
When the mill in Loco was restored in 1991, talk was revived of farina bóna. However, it was only in 2001, when a teacher returned to the valley after many years away, that farina bóna milling was restarted. He had found out about the craft and the production process by talking to older inhabitants. Today farina bóna is sold under the "slow food" label and added to dishes and desserts to enhance their flavour. The miller and his wife produce over eight tonnes of this "poor man's gold" annually.