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New gastronomic trends born with the Pandemic

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Introduction

Cyclically, on Western and Italian tables, foods never considered or known before make their appearance. They come mainly from the Asian or African continents and enrich local preparations or are used in ethnic recipes. During the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, some foods appeared and have now become popular. Some have only affirmed their use, outside the region. The 2022 gastronomic trends, however, do not only have to do with new taste trends, but have different reasons: health issues or ethical-ideological choices. Foods such as moringa, yuzu and cereals derived from regenerative agriculture are making their entrance. Meat is not eliminated completely, but reduced and of higher quality with particular attention to the environmental impact of farming and animal health.

New post-pandemic food trends

What we eat, in addition to being good and perhaps revealing unexplored flavours, must therefore be beneficial for the body. Healthy for the well-being of those who eat it, but also of the environment. This is how philosophies and food choices like “reductitarianism”, that is, a diet in which it is essential to consume less meat, but of absolutely higher quality and selected meat. The objectives are those of drastically reduce meat imports, putting it in the foreground the impact of livestock farming onenvironment and animal health.

Regenerative agriculture it will be another trend of 2022. Cereals, for example, as well as being organic, must be crops from regenerative agriculture, i.e. those in which when something is harvested from the ground it is necessary to immediately return or replace it, enriching the soil and not impoverishing it. All in the name of the green philosophy: recycle, reuse, reuse. Even waste in the kitchen can be reused: the anti-waste kitchen it's another trend, as are the small ones crops of vegetables and aromatic herbs starting from waste.

Moringa

An ingredient that has appeared on Western and Italian tables is Moringa, a true superfood, native to the equatorial and tropical belt, very widespread in African cuisine. Moringa is a plant belonging to Moringaceae family, It can even reach 10 meters in height. Always used in Indian folk medicine and in the traditional medicines of the countries where this tree usually grows (such as Asia, South America, Africa, the Caribbean, some Oceania countries, etc.)

In Italy they are commercially available dried and chopped or powdered leaves which are used for preparation of infusions or drinks. Pulverized leaves and seed extracts are found in the composition of some food supplements approved by the Ministry of Health. Moringa is also used in cosmetics: the extracts and the oil, mainly, for the formulation of creams and masks.

Yuzu

He enters the kitchen forcefully yuzu, cultivated mainly in Japan, Korea and China. It is a citrus fruit, a mix between lime and mandarin, much appreciated in the preparation of various dishes, both traditional Asian and variations of Italian dishes. It boasts notable beneficial properties: support for immune defenses; prevent colds and flu, anti-inflammatory action, helps preserve vision, protects the skin from free radicals, digestive properties, relaxing functions in aromatherapy.

Yuzu, in home cooking, is used for the preparation of the famous salsa ponzu, obtained by mixing: rice vinegar, kombu seaweed, sweet sake, fish broth and yuzu juice; teas, wines, liqueurs and cocktails, jams and marmalades. In savory preparations, yuzu can be used to flavor fish or on seafood, sushi, sashimi, but also mayonnaise, butter and soups.

Black cabbage

Black cabbage, a winter vegetable, is widely used in some Italian regions. One above all Tuscany, where it is the main ingredient of the classic ribollita, and of many soups. Today we cook in a “contemporary” way: the leaves, washed and then put in the oven for a few moments, become crunchy chips as an aperitif. They can be used for rolls, or as a condiment for pasta or lasagna.

Furthermore, black cabbage boasts numerous beneficial properties: it is a low-calorie food, obviously fat-free and rich in fibre, a characteristic that makes it effective in the diet against constipation and also for metabolic diseases (type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia etc). From a saline point of view, black cabbage contains high quantities of water and potassium, a very important element for athletes, for the elderly (both categories prone to dehydration) and for those suffering from hypertension (a pathology that improves with significant contributions of this mineral). It contains fair quantities of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), but there is no shortage of folic acid and carotenoids (pro vit. A). In addition to carotenoids and ascorbic acid, black cabbage contains other molecules with antioxidant power, which is why it falls into the group of foods that can help reduce the risk of cancer.

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