The lawn of the Italian ambassador’s residence in the capital last night turned into a celebration of Italian cuisine, where regional delicacies from across the country were featured, with the aim of promoting healthy eating and Mediterranean diet.
“The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world,” said Enrico Nunziata, Italian ambassador to Bangladesh, explaining that Italy is one of the countries where this diet is prevalent.
The lavish buffet was held as part of the “Week of Italian Cuisine in the World” programme, which began on November 18 and will run till today.
The garden of the ambassador’s residence hosted a number of stalls, each featuring a region of Italy. Guests had the opportunity to see the chefs in action, interact with them, understand the specialities of the regions, and taste the freshly made delicacies -- Polenta, Baci di Dama, various kinds of pasta, Arancini and Cannoli Siciliani to name a few.
Meanwhile, another stall featured Ancel Keys, a prestigious Italian culinary school which has historically been linked with healthy Mediterranean diet. The stall saw a number of teachers and students from the school cooking for guests.
In addition to Mediterranean diet, the ambassador also highlighted the importance of “Slow Food”, a movement which protects and promotes the diversity of local cuisines all over the world. “We must promote sustainable farming and ensure fairness towards farmers; and at the same time, uphold traditional and authentic cuisines, be it in Italy, Bangladesh, or elsewhere.”
Globally, the “Week of Italian Cuisine in the World” is taking place for the fourth time; but it was observed for the first time in Bangladesh this year. With the aim of promoting Italian cuisine and farm produce, the theme for this edition has been set as “Food Education: The Culture of Taste”. The Italian Embassy in Dhaka, along with other Italian diplomatic and consular offices and Italian cultural institutes all over the world, are organising many culinary events throughout the week.
In Dhaka, the Embassy of Italy is promoting an Italian food itinerary in a number of restaurants in town, which are offering special dishes of the Mediterranean diet. The week has also seen local chefs being trained on Italian cuisine, by respected chefs such as Eliana Vigneti.
The week is part of the “Italian Way of Life” plan, launched by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to involve public and private entities in the integrated promotion of the country.