So, we have now been in Italy for just over a year. I thought now was a good time to share the good and bad things that we have experienced during the last year.
It’s now November, and the summer festival season in Italy is coming to a close. However, as always, it goes out with a bang – Cioccolandia, a day long festival of fabulous chocolate!
I am a fan of “nose to tail” eating, which means that you use as much of an animal as possible, so that nothing goes to waste. The amount of food that is wasted in restaurants and homes around the world is estimated at a third of all the food bought, and the majority of this food can be used to create delicious meals. This is a scandal when you think about the amount of people in the world that do not have enough food to eat each day. Italians are masters of using everything that people would consider as leftovers, and I will be sharing some of these recipes in future posts.
Massimo Bottura believes the same. He is an Italian restaurateur and the chef patron of Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-star restaurant based in Modena, Italy which has been listed in the top 5 at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards since 2010. He is so passionate about this that he set up the “Food For Soul” project to tackle food waste, and to feed the needy and vulnerable in all parts of the world, which so far have been in Italy, England and Rio.
I live in a beautiful town called Piacenza. It is often overlooked by people visiting the Emilia Romagna region because either they think that were in Lombardia (we’re right on the border), or they bypass us for the more famous tourist places like Bologna, Parma, Modena or Reggio Emilia.
However, they are missing out on some fantastic food and wine. This region, like any other region, has its own dishes, wines and specialities which are not available anywhere else in the country, even 50 miles down the road.
It’s that time of the year in Italy when they seem to have a festival for everything. However, this is a very good thing in my book.
Last week myself, my wife and a work colleague visited the food and wine festival in Fiorenzuola, which is a village about 15 minutes by train from where I live in Piacenza.
As you will have read in my last post, Italians treat food as a religion, and there are very definite ways how dishes should be prepared. Another thing that annoys Italians is when a dish is claimed as “Italian” by someone, even by “Italian restaurants” abroad, with dishes that have never graced an Italian dining table.
So, here are ten dishes which are definitely not Italian, and which you should never try to order in Italy.
If you ask what the world’s favourite Italian dish is, a large amount will say spaghetti bolognese. The problem is that it doesn’t exist in Italy!
Everyone who knows me is aware of my hatred and loathing of supermarkets, and their row upon row of perfectly packaged meat and vegetables. However, if every one was like Eataly, then I would change my views in an instant!
One of the many things I love about Italy is that there seems to a food festival almost every week. So, when I spotted a festival celebrating chocolate just down the road from me, I all but packed my tent so I could be first in the queue.