It is no secret that I love the work of chef Rosario at Locanda de Gusti. His restaurant is not just Italian but Neapolitan. It’s so good, it’s been awarded a plate of authenticity by an Italian body. Last Monday, I joined other bloggers and food writers to celebrate the real taste of Italy (#RealTasteofItaly).
The Italian Chamber of Commerce is running a world wide educational campaign to teach us about the tastes of real Italian produce. We started a wonderful meal with mozzarella bufalo di campana, Parma ham and a gorgeous mustarda di frutta jam. The pasta course was spaghetti de Gragnano and a pomodorino del piennolo del Vesuvio (best tomatoes in the world?) sauce with garlic and olive oil. Next we had plump sausages and bitter broccoli.
Everything all simple and beautiful. Each dish showed off the ingredients. Wonderful ingredients need nothing but careful handling to shine. We finished with pasteria, my favourite ltalian sweet, a ricotta cheese cake with candied peel and orange flower water.
As well as being a fun night, it was educational. A lot of Italian food are DOP products but the ones we eat often aren’t. Why should we care if the £1 Italian ham we eat isn’t actually from Parma, or if the mozzarella isn’t made in Italy? What’s the difference between Italian and Italian sounding? I’ll say quality and tradition for now and expand on this topic in a few week’s time.
A fun night of great food inspiraed me to have a look through my cupboard and my local shops to see what I really eat.