Explore tastes of Italy in Tehran

November 18, 2019

TEHRAN – The Extraordinary Italian Taste Week opened during a special ceremony at the Ketab Elahieh (a cultural complex and bookstore) in northern Tehran on Sunday, opening an opportunity for enthusiasts and foodies to explore another tastes of Italy in the Iranian capital.

Organized by the Italian embassy in Tehran, the event is traditionally aimed on the one hand to help promote Italian cuisine across many countries and on the other to aid the support of ideas of improving quality of products, advocating environmental sustainability, reducing food wastage, and promoting a balanced diet.

Cooking masterclasses by Chef Giuseppe Peluso (form Italian Federation of Pizza Chefs – FIP) and a seminar on biological agriculture by Italian expert Dr. Alberto Bergamaschi are amongst various programs on the timeline of the event, which runs until November 22.

Tradition in Italian cuisine

Italian food is more than just pizza and spaghetti. There’s a wide range of ingredients, flavors, and dishes to experiment with in your own home.

According to encyclopedia.com, Italian cooking has been influenced by diverse groups of people and places, historically and in modern times. The Americas, for instance, had a huge influence on Italian cuisine. Tomato sauce, polenta, and anything piccante (hot) would not exist in Italian cuisine without the introduction of tomatoes, maize (corn), and peppers—all plants native to the Americas.

The world has adopted parts of Italy's cuisine, but not the structure of its meals. In Italy a meal is a leisurely sequence of events served in courses on separate plates, each appearing in the appropriate sequence. Americans often find it frustrating for a meal to be so lengthy, but, for Italians, dinner is often the main event and the focus of celebrations.

A poster for the Extraordinary Italian Taste Week in Tehran, November 2019

The cooking style is usually quite simple. There are no really elaborate sauces, and what sauces do exist are used only in small amounts, just enough to moisten pasta or delicately anoint meat or fish. Italian chefs claim, with some justification, that the secret to Italian cooking is sapori e saperi (flavors and skills), which implies doing little to excellent fresh ingredients.

While there are many differences between regions, and between households within a region, the concept of Italian food would not exist unless there were many similarities as well. There is a tendency for food experts to stress the differences instead of the similarities within the Italian food tradition. But there is much that links it as a single cuisine. Some examples are the structure of the meal, the pasta course, and potatoes used as a vegetable rather than as a staple source of carbohydrates. There is also the ubiquitous antipasto of sausages and cheeses.

AFM/MG

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