The rich program of events organized by the Italian Embassy in Canberra during the 6th Week of Italian cuisine were dedicated to the Mediterranean diet and to the connections between food, culture, design and Italian language, with a special focus on fake products an on the fight against counterfeiting, hence improving people's knowledge about the origin and authenticity of Italian products.
Starred chefs, young sommeliers, academics and bloggers animated the various initiatives illustrating Italian taste and its gastronomic culture, in a crescendo that, starting with the "story" of food and the role of cuisine in the linguistic unification of the Country, reached a climax with the "direct" experience of tastings of Italian excellence and a closing aperitif. Especially important was the space dedicated to the relations between cuisine and design, in collaboration with the Design Canberra Festival, which attracts over 150,000 visitors every year.
Particularly appreciated was the opening event of the festival, dedicated to the Italian language: "Words and Food: the Art of Eating Well", with the participation of Prof. Cecilia Robustelli, Professor of General Linguistics at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and collaborator of the Accademia della Crusca. Prof. Robustelli's master lecture, entitled "A Sampling of Italian Gastronomic Lexicon: From pappardelle '(14th century) to Nutella' (20th century)", was part of a series of speeches delivered in Canberra, Perth and Melbourne, aimed at illustrating the relationship between the diffusion of food culture and gastronomic lexicon, in a diachronic analysis of the development of gastronomic language in Italy, where cooking handbooks, in particular Artusi's book on cuisine, had the role of unifying the language and spreading it throughout the world.
During the week, relevance was also attributed to the issues of geographical indications and food traceability (a critical aspect of the current EU-Australia negotiations for a free trade agreement), also thanks to the presence of Lieutenant Colonel Emilio Palmieri, commander of the NAS-Carabinieri group in Milan, who described to the audience the work done by the NAS as well as Italy's prevention capacities and prompt action in the field of food safety.
Two Italian researchers working in Australia enriched the panorama of anti-counterfeiting initiatives with their presentations: Rocco Longo (University of Tasmania) illustrated the close link between wine and vineyards by comparing the Australian and European systems for managing geographical indications and gave a clear description of the complexity and maturity of the European consumer protection system; Roberta De Bei (University of Adelaide) expanded further on the science of the origin of a wine by explaining the essential concept of "terroir" as a combined expression of climate, soil, and human action on the territory.