Puglia's sustainable diet triumphs in New York

Nov 30, 2023 859

Puglia in the Big Apple has just delivered a culinary spectacle during the eighth annual week of the Italian Cuisine in the World, now a UNESCO 2023 candidate. The meticulously curated event by Puglia in Rosé, in collaboration with the Puglia Region, not only showcased the authentic flavors and top-notch quality of Apulian products but also underscored the Region's and local businesses' unwavering commitment to promoting a sustainable diet for both personal well-being and the planet.

Under the banner "Eat Well, Feel Wonderful," Puglia has embarked on a groundbreaking journey, earning accolades from health-conscious New Yorkers.

The three-day extravaganza kicked off at the prestigious Consulate of Italy in New York, where a captivated audience warmly welcomed the opening talk. Hosted by Consul General Fabrizio Di Michele, the event celebrated Puglia's message of a sustainable diet during a crucial time when the Italian Cuisine Week vies for UNESCO recognition. "In New York, I always say every week is Italian Food Week, but this year brings a tremendous novelty: the fusion of taste and well-being, high-quality ingredients, and environmental sustainability. Elements that undoubtedly elevate our exports." The food and wine export numbers tell a compelling story, boasting an 8% surge in the first eight months of 2023, reaching a staggering value of 36.2 billion euros.

Behind these remarkable figures lies the concerted effort of Regions and companies, exemplified by the Puglia Region and its flourishing wine and food enterprises. Gianluca Nardone, General Director of the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Environment of the Puglia Region, highlighted the region's companies increasingly aligning their production with environmental care and the preservation of natural resources. "Sustainability means our companies, in line with our region's strategy, are increasingly committed to environmental care, safeguarding environmental resources. Environmental awareness, combined with wellness, translates to good food that is also beneficial for health."

Caterina Baldini, President of Puglia in Rosé, a company with several wineries making waves in overseas export, stressed the significance of Apulian product excellence in the fiercely competitive American market. "New Yorkers have demonstrated how the excellence of our products, coupled with ongoing promotional education, holds the key to success. For a while now, we at Puglia in Rosé, under the leadership of CEO Lucia Nettis, have been working tirelessly in the American market – a challenging market due to its high competitiveness. Here, we now talk about quality, innovation, sustainability, research, and wellness alongside prominent Puglian companies." Echoing these sentiments were the participating companies. "Our products, from burrata to stracciatella and mozzarella, are crafted solely from 100% Italian milk, with continuous monitoring of breeding and milking cycles," emphasized Giovanni Zibillo, export manager of Gioiella, a flagship Apulian dairy company poised to introduce new products overseas.

Innovative products and ingredients, such as Molino Casillo flour, lauded during live shows, were also spotlighted. "Flour is an essential ingredient that people unfortunately do not fully understand. It is thought that all flours are the same. Instead, that's not the case," explained Beniamino Casillo, Vice President of the group, adding, "Our wheat germ flour allows the creation of a very malleable and, above all, highly digestible pasta. The result? For example, a light pizza with an excellent taste."

New Yorkers absorbed these concepts and experienced them practically during the Pizza Lab Master-Class at the San Matto pizzeria in the Upper East Side of New York. A masterclass on pizza, a tangible example of Puglia's forefront position in promoting a diet that seamlessly merges taste and well-being. American consumers had the chance to delve into the peculiarities of the Apulian sustainable diet, aimed at preventing cardiovascular diseases and obesity. They realized it is possible to eat healthily without compromising on taste and quality, thanks to Molino Casillo's highly digestible wheat germ flour, Gioiella's burrata, stracciatella, and mozzarella mindful of economic, social, and environmental sustainability, Frantoio di Muraglia's exceptional olive oil, Granoro's glyphosate-free pasta, and the authenticity of Puglia in Rosé wines.

The grand finale of the marathon was the live show by Apulian chefs at CxRa, one of New York's largest catering companies. Serving schools, institutions, museums, theaters, and especially international events like the US Open tennis, CxRa witnessed Puglia's culinary prowess. This final and highly anticipated stop showcased the skill of Apulian chefs in creating dishes that seamlessly blend tradition and innovation, respecting both the environment and human health.

While awaiting the verdict on the Italian cuisine's candidacy as a heritage of humanity, Puglia in New York has not only affirmed itself as a region of gastronomic excellence but also as a trailblazer in the agri-food sector's innovation. Here, quality, health, and sustainability harmoniously converge. Companies like Casillo, Gioiella, Granoro, Muraglia, Vespa Vignaioli, and Puglia in Rosé have been hailed as key figures in this food and wine renaissance, promoting an approach that values both individual health and the planet's well-being. Try calling it  just “food and wine” now...

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