“Identita Golose”: industrial or artisanal pasta

To eat well in a country requires knowledge of its culture, its idiosyncrasies, its products… and attention to those things that have made it different—a focus on its specialties, on how it has excelled. Italy has numerous relevant facets, enough to place its gastronomy among the most prestigious and economically influential in the world.

Important for various reasons, for it is one of the countries with the best products, to the extent that it deserves to be considered the best in many areas: in variety and quality of vegetables; in its passion for mushrooms; in its multiplicity and exquisiteness of extra virgin olive oils. Modena is vinegar par excellence. They are the kings of pasta. As far as rice is concerned, its classes and stews have no comparison on the continent. Its charcuterie stands out for its identity and selectivity. They have made bread and its preparations into a delicacy. They have made the white truffle legendary. They do not make the best salted anchovies on the planet, but they eat them and were schooled on the Cantabrian Sea. Currently, they raise the most exquisite squab. They are master ice cream makers. They make coffee like no others. And how many of the world’s cheeses rival Gorgonzola and Parmesan? Or Mozzarella di Bufala like the kind you can savor at La Tradizione, a shop locate in Vico Equense 80069, 969 Via R. Bosco, phone: 00.39.0818028869, e-mail: info@latradizione.com. And in wine, after Bordeaux come the Piedmontese, Barolos and Barbarescos, and let us not forget Veneto lovers. They also have a selection of popular traditional restaurants of enviable quality, most likely superior to those of France and Spain.

However, as is the case everywhere, there are always some deficiencies. The most important, which constitutes a national tragedy—a very human one experienced by all communities that have difficulties knowing how to evolve without resentment or how to synthesize, perfect, create—is the reliance on the “cucina de mama mia”, which has become a veritable refrain. As long as this attitude toward life that looks more to the past than the future; insists on the value of tradition; and delights in customs and localisms is not broken with, they will not attain glory.

Nowadays, glory in cuisine is determined by the coterie of creators a country is capable of producing. That is why we congratulate Paolo Marchi and his Gongreso Identite Golose--rimuovi@identitagolose.it--to be held in Milan from January 23-25 in support of the culinary avant-garde. It is personified by Maximiliano Alajmo “Le Calandre”, Carlo Cracco “Cracco Peck”, and Paolo Lopriore “Il Canto Hotel Certosa di Maggiano”, Enrico Crippa “Plazza Duomo” and Moreno Cedroni “Mandonnina del Pescatore”, among other young and stellar chefs dedicated to conveying an original message. Will Italy be able to add names to the cause of artistic cuisine? We have faith. Out of this should develop a movement with social significance that makes creative cuisine the dominant ideology.

A revolution that engenders an ethical rebirth in the conduct of chefs—how is it possible that almost all of the pasta served in Italy’s gourmet restaurants is industrial? The artisanal does not impede progress.

In a country of artists, design cannot be relegated to the presentation: garnishes, adornments, sauces…it must be fundamental. It is vital to give the highest quality and personality to the product and know how to articulate it with an original and consummate essence. Let us not forget that imagination adds value to excellence.