So, it was Italian week of Italian food is on in Kolkata now. But let us first find out why this festival is different from any other food festivals and if at all it is different. In the month of August, a city called Amatrice (probably where Pasta All’Amatriciana was born and gained its fame) was destroyed (well almost) after an earthquake. Now, For each dish of Amatricianna sold in restaurants throughout the Italian week, 2 euros will be contributed towards the cause of rebuilding the town. Hence this Italian Food Week is being celebrated across 130 countries and numerous cities globally and out love, Kolkata is not left behind. During the event, in Kolkata, we will be having five Italian chefs: Mauro Ferrari (Hyatt Regency), Francesco Francavilla (Oberoi Grand), Vittorio Greco (ITC Sonar), Alessio Lorenzo (Taj Bengal), Michelangelo Sparapano (The Park). They will present during the entire week their menus in the supporting hotels, offering to Kolkatans the original flavors and tastes of the Italian gastronomic tradition.
We were invited to Oberoi Grand, in their Baan Thai outlet to experience the session. Regarding the menu, let me confess firstly, I am not an authority on Italian food, in fact most probably, I can’t even pronounce most of them properly. So, I will try to explain them in layman’s language on what I had and about the overall appearance and taste.
We had fresh Burrata with asparagus, asparagus meringue, asparagus sorbet followed by tomato and honey Risotto with pinenuts and mixed herbs. And for desserts, it was white chocolate tortino with fresh fruits. Please don’t get me wrong. These were the item names and I’m not firing. Now, lets try to understand them one at a time… phew !!!
The word burrata means “buttered” in Italian. Now, Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains stracciatella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture.It is usually served fresh and at room temperature. It was the showstopper for the day, for me at least. I had this for the first time in my life and was bowled out. Brilliant is an understatement. A must have dish here.
Risotto was, thankfully, not new to me. And, being a big time carnivore, I enjoyed the vegetarian version of it. The crunchiness of pinenut and subtlety of honey made its mark.
The dessert again, was a revelation. Tortino is type of a pie, served slightly warm with fresh fruits and sorbet. Those, who are adventurous enough, recommended. The warm Tortino, once put in mouth with the cold jelly- the feeling was just magical. I didn’t touch the fruits frankly (Maybe I should’ve)……
And, at least apart from having some terrific meals, I now know few Italian dishes and how they should taste, thanks to the event.
Its on from 21st- 27th November in all the hotels mentioned above and the dishes are served on a-la-carte basis. So, halla bol !!!
Comments and critics welcome.
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