From 3 to 5 August, the Estonian pavilion at EXPO Milano is the venue of Rye Days, a part of the events of the Estonian Rye Year. Visitors can learn about the history of rye cultivation in Estonia, see a presentation of rye products, and experience the baking of authentic rye bread.
“The goal of the Rye Days in Italy is to present rye as a valuable source of nutrients, as well as to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the Sangaste rye variety,” said Merli Sild, Director of Estonian Museum of Agriculture.
According to Andres Kask, the Expo Project Manager, the Rye Days open with a workshop on Estonian rye. “The event helps to highlight rye as our national crop, which has been important for Estonian people throughout centuries. The workshop is also valuable for presenting different uses of Estonian rye and various rye products, as well as for providing support for small businesses,” Kask explained.
Twelve workshops in total will be held over the three days, providing an overview of the history and current situation of rye cultivation, with tasting of various rye products, while the Estonian Museum of Agriculture bakes rye bread on site.
Visitors of the pavilion can participate in tabletop game “How is Bread Made?” and experience exhibitions called “Bread is the Master of the Farm” and “Versatile Rye – Food and Drink on Estonians’ Table”.
This year has been proclaimed the Rye Year, focusing on rye as bread grain, to highlight and celebrate 170 years from the birth of Count Friedrich Georg Magnus von Berg, the breeder of the Sangaste rye variety, and the 140th anniversary of Sangaste rye. As far as we know, Sangaste winter rye is the oldest rye variety in the world that is still being cultivated. The seeds of Sangaste rye are preserved in the World Gene Bank. In 1893, Sangaste rye won the first prize at the Chicago World’s Fair.