Italian cuisine is… first and foremost, quality. The best. Beauty. Richness and good-ness. Breeders, farmers, prod-ucers. Social responsibility. Our culture. History. Tradition. Art. Being together. Hospitality and well-being. Emotion. Love, sensitivity and memory. Biodiversity. The symbol of Italy. Everything that makes you feel good. Sun, sea and Viva Italia.
Like an impressionist painting, there are many ways to tell of the multiplicity of Italy and of being Italian through its cuisine. Only when they are put all together does it make up the whole picture. It is like a series of images that an attentive director who, careful with details, does not omit anything in order to show every aspect of his characters, all the angles of a face, all the nuances of a scene.
If each of us were to tell stories through cooking, which is one of the most intimate aspects tied to our being Italian and a heritage recognized abroad as genuine and deeply attached to the beautiful country, it would definitely be hard to choose just one ingredient. In each plate there is a story with roots that go back centuries of culinary evolution, of cultural and commercial exchanges, of traditions and routes that have crossed oceans, territories and borders.
There are personal and family stories, habits and custom; there is the life in the towns where products are consumed around which the social and productive life of a community revolves. There are smells, childhood memories and affections, there are moments in each of our lives which bind us to a nicely set dinner table. Recipes, tastes and flavors that play a soundtrack in our heads, even before being tasted, savored and enjoyed. There are smells which fill up the kitchen and the steaming pots that transform the house into a cozy place, in a time of gathering and sharing. There are habits that bind us to foods, to people, to the way of being and living. And then there’s the variety.
The thousand interpretations of the same dish that from north to south are reinvented with the same ingredients, transforming the same materials into entirely different dishes that color the local traditions. A colorful palette of flavors which over time has given the country an extremely rich and varied menu, able to enhance both the niche products as well as the more overrated flavors.
All strictly accompanied by quality, by control in production and processing chains that make them valuable, in spite of the very inexpensive prices for the final product which reaches the consumer, and for the organoleptic qualities that set them apart. Whether they be raw materials or artesian products or even industrial, the level of goodness that characterizes them, not only makes cooking good, but healthy and nutritious. The sense of well-being, like the pleasure of taste, comes from the quality, an inescapable element.
In all Italian diplomatic missions, the “First Week of Italian Cuisine in the World” is proposed as a privileged place to spread the culture and high Italian cuisine, with particular reference to certified quality products.
In Los Angeles, a series of special events are organized to share and promote the culinary excellence and educational nutrition of our country by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by the Cooperazione Internazionale, by the Italian Consulate General in Los Angeles, ICE, IIC, ENIT and by Iaccw, in collaboration with the Los Angeles delegation of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina.
Tastings of quality, appointments of knowledge and evaluation, each with their tastes of promotion, with their main products to exhibit in order to raise awareness of the values that we bring to the table, the idea that each of us has on Italian cuisine and how it can be interpreted. The responses were of 21 star chefs who have lent their faces to promoting the national economy, each describing what Italian Cuisine is and each sharing the art that it develops without ever compromising the tradition and quality.
One week is definitely not enough to make the variety of Italian cuisine known to the world, but it is an extraordinary important initiative. And this is not because a good part of the Italian Brand passes from excellent food and from the best wine and food products of which the Italian peninsula boasts, nor because a large part of the Made in Italy, with its design and fashion, is identified in its good cuisine. But it is because in Italian cooking there is heart, the essence of every Italian. And making Italian cuisine well known to others means really bringing Italy into the world.