Italy- the number of World Heritages registered are top in the world and has rich food culture
The number of World Heritages registered in Italy is top in the world as of July 2016 (51 cases) and the country is full of cultural assets that attract people all over the world (China is 2nd place which 50 has cases registered, 3rd place is Spain with 45 cases, Japan is 12th place with 20 cases).
Among them, many people are attracted by abundance of Italian food culture. Twenty states have different climates, from northern part of the Alpine ridge of Switzerland and Austria to warm southern part where close to the African continent and each region inherited its own food culture.
The trends of Italian food culture in 2016 to draw attention are;
1. Popularity of street food
2. Increase number of vegetarians, vegans, progress of shops and restaurants
3. New health-conscious product
What are street food which draw attention?
Street food to draw attention are light meals using traditional ingredients in each region of Italy and they are kind of B-grade cuisine which are cheap everyday food that most people enjoy.
Due to the impact of the financial crisis in 2008, low-cost Italian food have been reconsidered and they are served as light meals at street stalls and shops on the street, but in the last few years, shops and restaurants specializing in street food have been opened one after the other.
Also, the Slow Food Association which promotes origin foods actively hold "Street Food Festival" in various places, they sublimated from the supporting role to the leading role.
Even though they are B-grade cuisine, street food provided by Italians who are deeply interested in and particular about food are carefully cooked using well-selected ingredients and seasonings to pursue great taste.
It boasts a big difference from mass-produced fast-food stores operated by other countries.
Later, I will report about popular street food stores with specialty of the region of Italy and fun idea.
Vegetarian population growing rapidly in Italy has increased by 15% in one year!
This time I will report about "increase number of the population of vegetarian, vegan and progress of specialty shops and restaurant" in Italy.
In Italy, vegetarian who refuse to eat animals have increased by 15% in one year and according to the survey of Eurispes (Italian Statistics Study Group) in 2015, 7.1% (about 4.33 million people) out of 61 million people population in Italy are vegetarian (including vegan).
Originally, vegetarians are simply "vegetarianism", meaning people who do not eat meat or fish but mainly eat vegetables. However, vegetarian can be divided into 4 groups.
People who do not eat meat, fish and shellfish, eggs, dairy products and honey.
Some people do not even eat yeast. Avoid using animal products.
People who not eat meat or seafood. 1. Those who eat egg and dairy products are Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian,· 2. Those who eat dairy products are distinguished as Lacto vegetarian
People who do not eat meat but eat shell fish
People eating only foods that do not kill plants, such as fruit and tree nuts
As for reason to be vegetarian, over 30% of people oppose to animal cruelty, 24% of people are for constitutional / health, 9% of people want to protect environment (environment for animal such as grass to be destroyed).
Fabulous vegetarian restaurants have been increasing steadily
In recent years, vegetarian restaurants, specialty supermarkets and food stores have been increasing steadily, including Milan where the center of the economy and trends.
As for specialty supermarkets, Natura Si is popular in Milan where you can find food, daily necessities, cosmetics and there are 19 stores in Milan and the store has been expanding its business throughout Italy. Also, COOP and Esselunga, the largest supermarkets in Italy newly established the specialty section for vegan and started to sell vegetarian ingredients in this year.
In other words, in the Italian market, it means that vegetarian population which was quite small and they were categorized as a miner customer group in the past has become majority customers who influence consumption.
Originally, Italian people have strong individual insistence and the society flexibly accept “being a vegetarian or a vegan is individual choice” and restaurants provide vegetarian in additions to regular menus.
TOFU, GOMA, AZUKI are recognized without translation!
Furthermore, new specialty shops with plentiful items including Japanese ingredients such as burdocks, seaweed, tofu and okara and so on where stylish café is inside the shops have been opening steadily.
The following pictures are the organic store “Centro Botanico” in Brera, stylish area of Milan. The use eco-friendly materials for the interior and there is the stylish café inside the store. They have become the leader in the organic, tableware and café .
Centro Botanico In-store picture1
Centro Botanico In-store picture2
There are many vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Florence where I live, the location registered as a World Heritage Site.
Also, in Tuscany, Macrobiotic cuisine has established long time ago which is called la cucinamacrobiotica (La Cucina macrobiotica) and many people practice it. “Tofu,” “Goma,” “Azuki” are called as it is and being recognized without translation. Wheat based food called as gluten meat in Japan is also available at a natural food store under the name of "SEITAN."
Delicious and beautiful vegetarian menu
have eaten at the vegetarian restaurant the other day. Although I was thinking whether I would be satisfied only with vegetable, originally, Italian people love eating and the dishes I had were full of idea and all of them were delicious and I was fully satisfied with “presentation, color, and volume. ”
Lunch menu (salad, pasta, main dish) costs 12 euro (about 1500JPY). 1 item costs 7 euro. For your information, I will introduce some vegetarian menus in Italy.
Salad: Avocado salad, pear's carpaccio etc.
Pasta: Ginger flavored potato Tortellini, Dried tomato spaghetti, Vegetables and tofu lasagna
without cheese, Risotto of chicory and gorgonzola cheese.
JOIA in Milan is ALTA CUCINA NATURALE, luxury natural food cuisine, basic, vegetarian cuisine without using meat and seafood, it was granted one star in the Michelin Tokyo version issued in 2013.
The restaurant is highly recognized worldwide as rare place to provide “creativity, luxury, nature, and vegetables.” Creative BIO vegetable cuisine prepared by the owner chef, Pietro Leemann who is originally from Switzerland are not the name of dishes but named by themes and they are beautiful like work of art or paintings.
We might want to use his idea for our vegetarian dishes and presentation.
Make our children and the Earth healthy with correct knowledge and proper diet plan!
There are various opinions about vegetarians (vegans). Especially for adults with completed
body have no problem, but have concern about children who are in the middle of formation of body may "lack of essential nutrients for healthy growth."
However, according to a professional nutritionist, being vegan has no impact to children’s growth with “special knowledge” and “proper" diet plan.
I personally feel that learning about meals to be able to take balanced nutrition, respecting
animals, thinking about global environment with children and practicing with them is wonderful thing.
I will keep eyes on vegetarian and vegan trend and circumstances in Italy in the future and I will report on them little by little.
By Lifesperia Rieko Seki
Live in Florence, the location registered as a World Heritage Site with loving husband and the dog. We provide business support Japanese companies including information food, clothing, housing, products proposal and etc.
Be sure to join moms interviewees.
Your voice will be delivered to moms all over the world.
Click here for interview form