If we barged between you and your pals after work one evening, thick, syrupy IPA spilling over the lip of our pint glass, and asked if any of you had any idea of what “bolo-spirit” is, would you? The answer is probably not, unless you were enjoying a pleasant chat with Swiss design duo Katrin von Niederhäusern and Dominique Magnusson , the curators of what may well be the first ever spaghetti bolognese themed poster collection.
“Bolo-spirit,” Katrin tells It’s Nice That, “is this tiny little moment when you eat some spaghetti bolognese and your mouth corners are magically lifted into an almost inevitable smile.” She has a point; there really is nothing quite like the alchemy that occurs when minced beef, and finely diced cubes of onion, carrot, garlic and celery join a can of tinned tomatoes. As they sit and simmer away, the world is born anew. Or maybe that’s just how it feels in the It’s Nice That kitchen.
Katrin and Dominique’s interest in the dish is enough that they’ve been moved to launch the first bolognese festival in Zurich’s history. The aforementioned posters will take pride of place when the event – called Bolo-Fäscht – kicks off on the 25th of August.
Katrin tells us that finding recruits wasn’t too taxing. Having scoured Instagram for potential saucy suitors, “who were maybe into the fact that two Swiss girls with a combined Italian vocabulary of about 11 words were going to host a festival celebrating that country’s cuisine,” they simply asked for a personal interpretation of the dish. The only restriction was the size of the poster.
Proving that bolognese is a truly versatile base for the creatively minded designer, or cook, the duo’s imaginative idea has paid off handsomely.
“What they came up with is amazing,” Katrin enthuses. “Alexa Deck sent us an oil painting, Jeppe Aaen came up with a super minimalistic illustrative approach, while Braulio Amado created an entire comic. We love the stories behind these magical combinations. Jeppe, for instance, says that spaghetti bolognese is one of his desert island dinners.”
If you’re wondering how a pair of Swiss swiss graphic designers fell in love with an Italian staple in the first place, the rationale is simple. Sort of. “Back in the day when it made its way over the Alps up to us in Switzerland, people misunderstood a lot about the dish,” Katrin says. “‘’Why,” Italians would ask, ‘why would you put a ton of emmentaler over it, instead of a delicate sprinkle of parmigiano.’” Schooled by “Italian mamas”, they began to embrace what they now think of as “the best dish in the world.”
With a print collaboration with Milanese publishers Bolo Paper in the works, things are set to get even richer for the bolognese-loving pair.
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