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With the finest olive oil, the most flavoursome plum tomatoes, cheeses, sauces and a wide range of specialty pasta, the lip-smacking Italian Food Week is coming to Lulu Hypermarket Bahrain starting today until next Tuesday.
The week-long festivities, to be inaugurated by Italian Ambassador to Bahrain, Domenico Bellato, will be held at the hypermarket’s Atrium Mall location in Saar.
This is part of the 2019 “World Week of Italian Cuisine,” which will be celebrated in Bahrain under the brand “The Extraordinary Italian Taste.” This year’s focus will be on healthy nutrition and the added value ensured by the Mediterranean diet.
“The Mediterranean diet has been identified by UNESCO as a part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2010,” said Domenico. “Much more than just a list of foods, the Mediterranean diet helps build social interactions. Eating together is an important part of Mediterranean culture, as it is in the Middle East, and plays a vital role in bringing people together”.
The Mediterranean model shows that a healthy diet, without having to forgo pizza, cake or any other food, along with food education, contributes to a better quality of life. It is a food culture based on education and awareness, not restrictions.
Lulu’s popular promotion brings the best of Italian taste to Bahrain and there is a 30 per cent discount on selected Italian products as well. There will be new Italian products, including organic ones, flown in for the first time.
The embassy is also organising a Pesto Competition on Saturday at Darseen Café, Bahrain Fort Museum, Seef, from 4:30 pm onwards, with free admission. It will be judged by the world-famous Roberto Panizza, president of the Palatifini Cultural Association and founder of the Pesto World Championship as well as Emilio Pescarolo, winner of the 2018 World Pesto Championship.
At the Atrium Mall Saar, on Friday at 7pm, Roberto and Emilio will conduct a cooking demo and demonstrate the secret of making the world’s best hand-pounded pesto sauce. The demo will also include tasting and special offers on genuine Genovese pesto.
Roberto is known around the world for his hand-crushed pesto. The BBC has reported that at his restaurant, Il Genovese in Genoa, Italy he makes between one and three kilograms of pesto like this every day, one kilo at a time.
The ingredients he uses are always the same: Genoese basil, local Ligurian extra virgin olive oil, garlic ideally from the village of Vessalico, Italian pine nuts, Pecorino and Parmesan cheeses and Sicilian salt. The quantities may vary, depending on the balance of flavours he wants – more or less cheesy or garlicky – and on his mood.
He says: “When I started, it was revolutionary to make pesto with a mortar. I’ve seen old people with tears in their eyes watching me make pesto. They would look at me and say, ‘You took me back to when I was a little child. In the olden days, for Genoese children, this was the traditional kitchen activity while grandma was cooking. The children could play at making pesto because they couldn’t hurt themselves, there are no knives and no flames. This is a very widespread memory at home – loads of people have told me. This Genoese love of pesto, apart from the fact that it tastes good, is that it takes them back to being children.”
Along with cuisine, Italian culture at large will also be celebrated. On Monday, December 2, in co-operation with the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, a classical Italian Opera concert will be held at the Bahrain National Museum Foyer at 7pm, featuring three young Italian talents from the internationally renowned music Academy ‘Accademia Chigiana’ of Rome.
Lulu’s Italian Food Festival will also showcase the talents of Italian saxophonist Adriano Loretti at its Saar location.
Also on display at Lulu’s Italian Food Festival will be the genius of Italian engineering, Vespa and Ducati bikes.
“Italian food is undoubtedly one of the more popular cuisines in Bahrain, as the burgeoning number of Italian food outlets in the kingdom shows us and Lulu Hypermarket is delighted to promote this healthy Mediterranean diet,” said Lulu Group Director Juzer Rupawala.