On 1st May, EXPO 2015 begins in Milan, with the theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life". We will try to convince the whole world – and especially the Italians – to enjoy modern and creative Polish cuisine.
According to the announcement from the organiser of the Polish stand – the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development – the exhibition in Milan is an occasion to exchange experiences related to food safety and quality, and to applied agricultural technologies. It’s also an excellent platform for Poland to show its achievements in the food industry, by, for example, presenting the newest trends in the promotion of healthy eating.
Poland's presentation is to be focused on the newest solutions in ecological agriculture, food manufacturing, biotechnology and environmental safety, but it will also emphasise the elements of Poland’s heritage which are also common to Italian culture, like meetings with family or among a close circle of friends.
Does Polish gastronomy stand a chance of interesting the Italians? According to Tessa Capponi-Borawska, an Italian culinary connoisseur and a lecturer at the University of Warsaw: “Poles are the Neapolitans of the Slavs, and Italians are Poles’ favourite foreigners.” Despite obvious differences between the two nations there is a thread of communication and mutual sympathy. However, Tessa stresses that getting Italians interested in Polish cuisine can be difficult. It is true that the younger generations in larger cities are more and more interested in foreign cuisine, but nonetheless, they are still strongly attached to their local dishes. “The Poles are curious about other cultures’ cuisine, and the Italians not much at all”, said Capponi-Borawska.
It is hoped that a publication created for the EXPO will make things easier. One of Polish cultural-culinary magazines, USTA, has prepared a unique culinary publication – Apetyt na Polskę / Appetite for Poland – which will be available in Polish, English and Italian. Its electronic version will be published mid-April on www.expo.gov.pl.
The authors wrote that they want to present Poland as a country of modern culinary thought which uses unique Polish ingredients and traditional Polish culinary methods in a creative way. The book shows extraordinary meals made with extraordinary ingredients from an extraordinary country. But be careful, as you won’t find recipes for typical dishes like bigos or pierogi in this publication; however you might find a recipe for a cider-based pearl barley dish, bread soup made with chanterelles, and roasted buckwheat. The authors of the recipes are young culinary chefs and experts who co-operate with the magazine on a regular basis, including Witold Iwański, Eliza Mórawska, Michał Gniłka, Marysia Przybyszewska, Grzegorz Łapanowski and Tomasz Trąbski. Each of them describes Polish cuisine from their own perspective and together, they present the innovative, ambitious, yet fearlessly traditional cuisine of Poland.
Author: Magdalena Kasprzyk – Chevriaux, transl. Agata Dudek, April 2015