ITALIAN FOOD, COCINA ITALIANA, CUISINE ITALIENNE: THE WEEK OF ITALIAN CUISINE IN THE WORLD
Why did Italian restaurants in Hanoi hold a two-day celebration of “real” Italian food? Why were dishes from our culinary tradition offered to visitors by Italian stalls during an important Street Food event in Jeddah? And why has France finally presented the first complete translation of Pellegrino Artusi’s cookbook “La science en cuisine et l’art de bien manger” (Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well), which is regarded as the “bible” of Italian cooking? Well, the reason is simple: because from 21 to 27 November the “Week of Italian Cuisine” was held, at locations all over the world. Through the network of Italian embassies, consulates and institutes of Italian Culture, over 1000 events were organised – in which Gorgonzola PDO also took part – in 105 different countries, form Helsinki to Seoul. The second edition of the “Week of Italian Cuisine” focused, in particular, on the relation between Italian cuisine and high-quality wine. Indeed, Italy boasts an incredible biodiversity, which is well represented, among others, by over 800 varieties of grapes and 400 types of cheeses. For PDO (Protected Designation of Origin, DOP in Italian) products, the success of an event like this is key to increase exports and fight the spreading of the so-called Italian-Sounding products. Just think that as much as 37% of the entire Gorgonzola PDO production, amounting to 20,316 tons, is made for exporting all over the world. Of these, 17,756 tons head for Europe, 686 for Asia and 483 for the US (CLAL data, 2016). Equally important is to attract food and wine tourism to Italy, through the promotion of our territory and the advertising of regional food and wine and tourist itineraries, which was also a goal of the event. Last, the “Week of Italian Cuisine” was also an opportunity for solidarity, with many activities focusing on the collection of funds for the people affected by the earthquake in Central Italy.