The importance of thinking outside the box

Once upon a time in Venice there was a merchant, who was successfully dealing with shipments of spices from Asia to Europe. His life proceeded at full speed: commerce was flourishing and his family was happy. Everything changed the day the merchant, blinded by greed, decided to ask a loan of a huge quantity of money for the importation of a big shipment, from which he was sure he could ear an enormous profit.

Therefore, he went to Siena, to the Gran Tavola of Bonsignori (the ancient bank of Siena), hoping to receive the loan he needed. After a long journey, the merchant met the head of the Gran Tavola. Unfortunately, however, even if the merchant was really good persuading people, the sum of money was too high and the Bank of Siena was managed carefully and with great ability (good old times…). The Gran Tavola of Bonsignori could have never granted such a big loan, even if they knew the Venetian merchant was trustworthy. The bank denied any loan, without ifs and buts.

The merchant went back to Venice, with the tail between the legs, sad for the opportunity he was about to miss…how much money lost! He did not want to let down the possibility: he would have asked the money he needed to the old loan shark of Venice! Even with a crazy interest rate, the import operation was so profitable that it was anyway economically sustainable. So the merchant accepted the money from the old loan shark. What he did not know, however, was that the usurer had a evil plan in his mind. He set eyes on the young daughter of the merchant, a gorgeous girl, courted by the main personalities of Venice. The loan shark made an agreement with some pirates for stealing the load of the ship, forcing the merchant not to be able to give back the money lent.

The merchant was desperate. He asked the old loan shark what he could do to give back the money, unaware of the deceit of the usurer. The merchant begged: “I am available to do anything, just spare my life! I promise that I will give back to you all the money till the last ducat coin, I will just need time!”. The old loan shark shouted: “I do not have any time to lose! But I want to be good with you… I will erase the whole debt in exchange with the hand of your daughter… I know deep in my heart that we are meant to be together and I am so sure that I will let the fate to decide if it is really like I say.”

The merchant could not say no to the old loan shark: the merchant’s daughter had to pick a stone from a bag in which there would have been ten stones: nine black stones and one white stone. If the daughter pick the white stone, then the debt will be cancelled, without the need of any marriage. But if the daughter pick one of the nine black stones, then the two will have marry to cancel the debt.

Therefore, there was a gathering for the “big extraction”, which happened in the majestic garden of the old loan shark, with even the Doge present. The merchant was crying: because of his greed he had condemned his daughter to a hellish life, with a despicable man like the usurer. The daughter was not only gorgeous, but also very smart. She knew that the old loan shark would have never risked in any way to lose and had put only black stones inside the bag, with no white stone… his reputation preceded him! So, she decided to pick a stone and then she faked to faint, dropping the stone to the ground, where there were thousands of such stones. “What are you doing, you fool! Now we will never know what color had the stone you picked, it is impossible with all the stones in my garden!”, said the old loan shark. Gently, the young girl replied: “I ask for your forgiveness, my Lord. I could not bear the emotion, but allow me to suggest that there is a solution. We can check the stones that are still in the bag: if the white stone is still there, it means that destiny chose our marriage and I will be happy to be Your wife. But if there are only black stones, it means that I picked the white one and that the Good God has other plans for us”. The old loan shark could not admit that he had cheated, in front of all Venice. So, the merchant had his debt cancelled and could go back to his life, after having learned that he would never ever take such risks in the future or work with slimy usurers. His daugther, on the other hand, more than deservedly was free from the despicable loan shark.


What is the connection of this story with Bivo? We are not beautiful as the merchant’s daughter. We are not also as smart as she was, who found a quick solution able to solve everything in a single moment. But we have tried to think outside the box, developing a type of food, different to anything that exists, but that can solve the problems that traditional food is not able to solve… without letting down in any way the pleasure of tasty food!

For this reason we say proudly: think outside the box! (and stay away from loan sharks)