The Fiera Milano Ambassadors reveal the trends up close. Are you ready to discover sumac? Or to taste a Japanese espresso? All organic, healthy and sustainable. According to our experts, you should. And you might even like them.
A constant redefining balance between healthy and pleasurable. This is the main sentiment that emerges from the contributions of the Fiera Milano Ambassadors: Italian and international chefs, teachers, bloggers and influencers with a first-hand view of market developments.
For Laura La Monaca, an Italian food photographer but in great demand overseas, the challenge is to bring healthy and free-from issues into even the most traditional recipes. “Lets think for example about the pastries from Sicily, where I come from - she explains -. In recent years, more and more chefs have been making vegetarian or free-from versions of our specialities, including some really super typical ones such as ‘col tuppo’, a Sicilian, fragrant, leavened brioche, crowned by the characteristic chignon, which is eaten with granita or ice cream. But even cassata lends itself to healthy reinterpretations”.
Healthy or pleasurable? Tradition or melting pot?
From France, Julie Gerbert, food journalist and host of popular podcasts agrees: “Consumers alternate healthy foods with the search for comfort food that gives them pleasure. Precisely because they are increasingly occasional, the latter are also increasingly refined, specially with pastries: people are willing to cross the city, or to travel to a different city, to try out the recipes of a famous cookery master. In France there is an ever-increasing reinterpretation of traditional recipes, which at times become unrecognisable: for this reason, many consumers return to the classic product from the local cake shop. In everyday cooking, on the other hand, sourdough bread is very trendy, while refined flours and white bread are becoming less popular”.
In a country that cannot count on a strong culinary tradition, like the United Kingdom, the melting pot of ingredients and dishes from the most diverse cuisines has been a reality for a long time. “In particular, we draw heavily on the traditions of the Middle East and Asia and, more recently, Eastern Europe - comments food influencer Sally Prosser -. Personally, I really appreciate sumac berries; in Italian you also call it sumac because it also exists in Sicily. It is a red spice, typical of the Middle East with herbal properties, thanks to the presence of tannins. I also try to use plenty of organic ingredients and cook them in a sustainable way. Here too, the lockdown has prompted many people to try to make their own bread, but it is not a widespread skill and ready-mixes abound in the supermarkets”.
And outside Europe? Italian-Japanese food blogger Sara Waka tells us that, after matcha tea, another unstoppable trend is coming out of the Land of the Rising Sun: Japanese coffee. “Not everyone in the West knows this, but from American coffee to iced coffee, from cans to filtrates, the Japanese are a people of real coffee lovers - says Sara -. ‘% Arabica’, a chain of coffee shops where you can taste different flavours, savour the most varied blends and buy coffee beans from the ‘% Arabica’ factory in Hawaii has become an authentic cultural phenomenon”. But what makes it different? “A typically Japanese philosophy of simplicity, where coffee becomes the moment of pleasure that can give meaning to the entire day”.