I live in
almost for three years now, but if I count with my other previous stays, it amounts to a good seven years of Italian experience. Italy
It is a good country to live in, being Portuguese there are many similarities between the two cultures and I do not feel like a foreigner at all.
The other day I was having an interesting discussion with a friend and colleague of mine. He is Italian and of course that he was praising his country and his food. The discussion was around which is the best food in the world. It is a huge question to which I was explaining to Fil, one cannot answer for sure. I agree that Italian food is one of the best cuisines in the world. For so many reasons, such as variety, taste, Mediterranean healthy diet, wines, ingredients, etc, etc.
But I cannot place it in the first position, as a matter of fact I cannot place any in the first position, I love variety so much that I can not elect just one.
In my opinion, travelling is essential to taste everything that good Planet Earth has to offer.
Being Portuguese I grew up with highly complicated dishes, that are a result of so many cultural mixtures (Arab, European, Indian, African, Asian), that is why Portuguese Cuisine is an open book of the world history. With such cultural background my taste has been developed to appreciate spicy food and mixtures. My brother-in-law, is half Dutch, half Indonesian, his family opened in the 80’s the first Asian Restaurant in my home town. Thus, I have also developed an immense appreciation towards Indonesian dishes and Asian cuisine in general. I used to joke saying that when appreciating Indonesian food I had an orgasm of flavours and textures. Living quite close to
also made it possible to grow while enjoying Spanish Tapas and Paella. Living in the EU made it possible to freely travel and live anywhere in Spain Europe, so I have learned to appreciate so many different cultures, foods and tastes. Also, the fact that I am married to a half Russian half Bulgarian lady, come to further "complicate", my apreciation towards different cultures, cuisines, habitutes, etc.
I agree with Fil that Italian cuisine is essentially good quality ingredients and its main force is its simplicity. Italian food is great because it is simple.
Still, I love to create, to re-invent, to experiment, thus I am a good fan and preacher of Fusion Cuisine, which is: I mingle flavours and ingredients of many of my favourite dishes.
I could not live without Mexican Food, without Indonesian or Thai Food, Japanese, French, African, Indian, Chinese,
Mediterranean, Lebanese, Turkish, Moroccan, Italian, Brazilian, Russian, Bulgarian and my personal favourite Portuguese.
So, if you want to become a Gourmet enthusiast, I advise you to travel, the world is quite a big and various place in order to identify a single cuisine as the best. Half of the experience of travelling is to mingle with the natives, to know them, understand them and taste their food.
Chef Gourmet Du Art
Curiosities: 1)Potatoes were introduced in Europe by the Spanish (that brought them from the New World; 2)Sugar was brought to Europe by the Crusaders from the Holy Land; 3) Portuguese Spice Trade in the 16th century changed the European Cuisine Habits;
Places I have been, where you can enjoy good International Food: Indian Restaurant Babur – London, UK; Moroccan Restaurant Aldar – Hotel Pine Cliffs Algarve, Portugal; Indonesian Restaurant Tempo Doeloe – Amsterdam, Holland; Russian Restaurant Saslik – Helsinki, Finland, Thai Restaurant Koh Phagan – Stockholm, Sweden; Fusion Restaurant Shambala – Milano, Italy