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Italian Cuisine Week, “Dinner with Dante” in the United Arab Emirates

“Dinner with Dante”, an evening dedicated to medieval Italian cuisine, was the highlight event sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute in Abu Dhabi, for the Italian Cuisine Week in the Arab Emirates. On the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the Supreme Poet’s death, Simone Pregnolato, an Italianist from Milan’s Catholic University, introduced the dinner with a speech on the references to food customs in the Comedy and the language of the recipe books in Dante’s time.

There were also many other initiatives during this year’s edition of the Week of Italian Cuisine in the World, such as, the 12th Italian Cuisine World Summit, involving 11 starred chefs, or the participation of 55 Italian agri-food companies in the Specialty Food Festival, and also the Innovation talk on “Sustainable and secure food for a sustainable life”, organised by the ICE, in partnership with the Embassy to the UAE and the Consulate General in Dubai. On this occasion, the Italian Ambassador, Nicola Lener, said: “Italy has a vast and heterogeneous food offer that exerts a strong power of attraction on the general public. Little is known, however, about our country’s ability to preserve its food traditions within the framework of a rigorous legal system and a highly technological production sector. Italy has one of the strictest food regulations in the world to protect consumers and the environment, and compliance with strict production standards heightens the propensity of companies to seek technological solutions that can reconcile consumer needs with the demands of the fight against waste and climate change, environmental sustainability and access to food.”

Regional initiatives are also important, including: the seminar promoted by the Lazio Region “A Talk on Agrifood Tradition and Experimentation, Innovation and Sustainability” and the dinner “Under the Stars of Lazio” organised by chef Antonello Colonna. The events organised by the Campania Region, between 5 and 11 December, will enrich the EXPO2020 calendar with themed meetings on “The Art of Neapolitan pizza-making” and on the local agri-food chain and its development prospects, with numerous food tasting sessions. This will be followed by cooking shows and tastings promoted by the Emilia-Romagna Region which, between 11th and 14th December, will see the Fondazione Casa Artusi engaged in dissemination activities for the benefit of UAE cookery schools and visitors to EXPO2020 Dubai and will end with the event “Macfruit Fruit&Veg for EXPO Dubai” aimed at promoting Emilia-Romagna companies in the sector.

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