Sicily has the largest number of endangered food in Europe

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London -40 SlowFoodSicilia presidia need to be protected so they are introduced to London thanks to SlowFood UK and two associations of Italian cooks in the UK Hundreds join two days of debate and free tastings, under the auspices of EXPO2015 London, 17 July 2015 – How can we change the conversation on food from “global/local?” to “good, clean and fair” from Sicily to London? How can we help Londoners discover the rarest ingredients avoiding adulteration?

How can we protect 40 presidia at risk of extinction, the largest number in Europe? Those were the key questions raised in last two days debate and events in London “Sicilians at the table”, at the Italian Cultural Institute and at the restaurant “Sicily” in Epsom.

Andrea Scarpignato (Tasting Sicily), Rosario Gugliotta (Slow Food Sicilia), Enzo Oliveri (UK delegation of Federation of Italian chefs and Professional Associations of Italian Chefs) and Salvatore Romano (Tasting Sicily)]

Were there 200 people, in mix of talks, tastings, and acting. Journalists, politicians, diplomats and experts – including SlowFood in the UK – discussed how to introduce Sicilian edible biodiversity into restaurants in the UK in order to save it. Solutions must begin from the bottom up. So SlowFood Anglia signed a protocol agreement with SlowFoodSicilia: from this coming September there will be common projects between the two islands and the first one will have fish as main subject. The UK delegation of Federazione Italiana Cuochi (Federation of Italian chefs) and the Associazione Professionale Cuochi Italiani UK (Professional Associations of Italian Chefs) decided to put Sicilian presidia in their menu.

After the debate there was a taste workshop dedicated to the unique Minuta oil, to recognize extra olive oil, and a free tasting of honey from black Sicilian bees, Tuminia bread, Trabia pasta, lemon provola from Nebrodi, Maiorchino cheese, caponata, carciofata, cucunci from Salina, baked ricotta, prickly pears, cannoli, paste di mandorla, Nebrodi hazelnuts torroncini and Malvasia.

The Sicilian actor Gilberto Idonea played an extract from his “One Man Show” and traslated in English Sicilian proverbs about food. The day after more than 50 British customers attended the first “Gusta la Sicilia” dinner. The event was organized by the Tasting Sicily founder Andrea Scarpignato and the Sicilian chef Enzo Oliveri, under the auspices of EXPO2015.

It was the first public appearance by Italian Cultural Institute Director Marco Delogu who mentioned food, Inspector Montalbano and writer Andrea Camilleri as best ambassadors of Sicily in the UK.

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Andrea Scarpignato (Tasting Sicily), Dermott Sales (Slow Food Anglia), Silvia Venturini (Slow Food Anglia), Shane Holland (Slow Food UK) and Rosario Gugliotta (Slow Food Sicilia)

Audience payed also tribute the British food blogger Gareth Jones who sadly passed away some days ago in Italy. Among the audience at the event were the first Counsellor of the Italian Embassy Silvia Limoncini and the ICE director Fortunato Celi Zullo. Shane Holland (executive chairman, Slow Food in the UK), Dermott Sales (group leader, Slow Food Anglia), Silvia Venturini (coordinator, Slow Food Anglia) were also present.

The panel discussion was attended by Antonio Romanzo (chairman, Associazione Comunità Siciliana nel Mondo), Lucio Tambuzzo (chairman, I WORLD), Giuseppe Pennino (Agronomist, Executive Manager Sicily Region, Agriculture department), the British writer Geoff Andrews, the sommelier Maurizio Titone, Rosario Gugliotta (president, Slow Food Sicilia), Enzo Oliveri (Professional Association of Italian Chefs, UK delegation), Carmelo Carnevale (President, Italian Professional Chef Association), Sicilian politician elected abroad Mario Caruso and Carmelo Lo Monte, Tasting Sicily founders Salvatore Romano, Andrea Scarpignato and Eugenio Vazzano. The debate was hosted by Francesca Marchese.