Tuesday, June 26, 2018

TurinEpi18 talk show 1

The fifth edition of Turin Epicurean Capital started on June 20 2018, once again, in the 1800 fabulous theater of the De La Salle Collegio San Giuseppe.

Lucia Hannau introducing the 5th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital; photo by Alberto Bonis

Diana Skok Corridori directed this first talk show talking about herself and how despite the fact that growing up, her family had sandwiches for lunch, all the dinners were complete and cooked meals.
More often than not gnocchi sided BBQ ribs because her bicultural family made it a point of keeping the dinner as the major family moment of the day.
Marrying a Roman a husband and now living in the Varese area, cooking on a daily basis is still part of her life.
However, life in Leicester, UK is a bit different, Antonio and Daniele said. In the UK, they have acquired the sandwich fashion but their meals are not limited to just that. They kept they pasta habits together with the pub pilgrimage and the local fish and chips.

Jan Egan has a double life: in Italy, each side of her Italian family gives her precise instructions about what and how to cook, while in the UK, she spends most of her time researching the origin of her ingredients.
However, Jan explained to us that the problem is political more than social, because the British system makes food totally non-democratic. For instance, if you are poor and you can't pay the electricity bill, you can't cook!

Diana also noticed that compared to America, in Italy there aren't as many fat-free and low-fat products, and frozen meals don't exist because Italians actually cook!

Jan Egan and Diana Skok Corridori; photo by Alberto Bonis

Antonio commented he noticed that both oranges and bananas are always neatly displayed at the beginning of the UK grocery stores because these fruits don't need to be processed or cooked to be eaten, you just peel them and they are ready!
Finding good quality milk to make their Italian gelato though has been a challenge for Antonio and Daniele because the dairy industry in the UK is mostly in the hands of large corporations. The milk you buy in the British grocery stores, as well as most dairy products, compared to what we have access in Italy, is artificial.
In their gelateria they try very hard to follow the Slow Food principles and at the same time they have to constantly educate their public and palate.
Daniele said they organize many events inviting different producers and suppliers, showing their customers the difference between the industrial ice-cream available in regular grocery stores and their own gelato made with organic and natural products.
A usual questions they are always asked during the strawberry season is: why does your gelato have seeds? Their usual answer is: because in nature strawberries come with seeds and to show you we use real strawberries our gelato contains them!

Seasonality doesn't exist in the US and the UK outside of the farmers' markets and grocery stores look like they have plenty of variety of products but once you scratch the surface and you look for the real quality, unfortunately you don't have many options.

In the UK, speaking of good food equals to being posh, Jan said. How interesting since in the US, cooking and researching for good food is an indicator of education together with financial wealth.
Jan pointed out how today not many people cook and eat together and many people converted to the American food habits.

Photo by Alberto Bonis

Diana added how in the US all the kids eat something different at a different time because Americans believe they don't have time and money to cook, but once back in Texas she did her math and noticed how wrong it is: cooking some pasta and a salad or a steak for her kids here in Italy is cheaper than a Mc-Menu!
Jan added that in the UK many people don't even talk to each other anymore while in Italy we talk about our dinner when we meet for breakfast 😂
She also added that many British still believe that cooking is demeaning, and when Antonio and Daniele went into the different grocery stores a whole world opened to Diana and all the non-British present to this talk show.

Jan helped explaining what blood loyalty is. Unlike what happens in the US, in the UK many people who belong to a certain social level simply shop at one kid of grocery store, so the poor go to hard discounts and the wealthy go to more expensive ones.  However, blood loyalty forces the British subjects to keep their ancestors legacy alive even when they have changed their economical status.
So, let's say somebody's grandfather was a factory worker and he and his grandma shopped at a certain store, now, that person is still shopping there even though he is a millionaire!

So once again food, social dynamics, food ethics and food economics were really the major topics of this first very active talk show!
Right after this first talk show we all went to lunch in a nearby park.

Benedetta Oggero, Georgie Knaggs, Lucia Hannau, Antonio De Vecchi and Daniele Taverna, photo by Alberto Bonis

Even though officially the place we chose is normally labeled as a mini brewery, its menu is rather gourmet listing all local specialties and local ingredients.
Most of the Turin Epi guests ordered the traditional vitello tonnato with an artisan locally produced beer!

To close our lunch and gather up our strengths for the cooking class with Margherita Frari, we had to have a gelato dose or at least a refreshing artisan granita! Naturally, tasting gelato and chocolate is also part of the TurinEpi research program, so we all walked to L'Essenza del Gelato.
As you can easily tell by the picture below, compared to most gelato places, these gelato artists use almost the double of the regular amount of local fruit for all their sorbets and gelatos 😎

mango and raspberry, photo by Lucia Hannau

From the top of their gelato expertise, after sampling different flavors and a medium granita, both Antonio and Daniele have officially approved of the gelato production and gelato philosophy of L'Essenda Del Gelato. A real gelato mindfulness that more than a gelato is frozen fruit, perfect for yogis too!

Hopefully you have marked it down for your vidaroyal visit here in Turin with us!

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