'Be an explorer, not a tourist'

Sep 13, 2018, 09:28 IST | Dalreen Ramos

A travel meetup cum workshop on Italian food promises to make you a responsible tourist

'Be an explorer, not a tourist'
The local market in Alba, a town in the province of Cuneo, Italy

"Pasta or pizza?" This question (with no acceptable answer) is enough to stir up a debate wherever you go, even in Italy. For chef Nelson Noronha and Ansoo Gupta of One Shoe Travels, the question itself is incomplete — because Italian cuisine cannot be whittled down to two items. "This is much like having Indian food abroad, which is limited only to North India. So many restaurants in Mumbai may serve authentic Italian food, but it is so much more than just choosing from fettuccine or spaghetti aglio e olio," Noronha explains.

Fried eggs with truffles
Fried eggs with truffles

This Sunday, both of them hope to educate travellers who are looking to visit Italy, or simply know more about the food, through Eatalian Dreams, a meet-up cum workshop where participants get hands on experience on techniques such as traditional dough making and flipping, as well as topping and sauce combinations.

Radicchio or Italian chicory
Radicchio or Italian chicory

"For example, if you visit the world's oldest pizzeria, Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba (1738) in Napoli, you see hordes of people queuing up for a very simple pizza — a thin base, homemade tomato sauce and basil. This in contrast to the American variety we are used to having," Gupta says. Having visited more than 70 countries, she states that going beyond the "menu turistico" (a menu with fixed items that caters to tourists), is quite the challenge. "You have to understand that there are regional nuances. The north and the south have different tastes," she adds.

Nelson Noronha
Nelson Noronha

The event will also guide participants to restaurants in Italy that are local favourites, and brief them on a few special food journeys. For instance, Gupta visited an Italian town called Alba last October where it was the truffle season, as white truffles (seasonal mushrooms) are a specialty of this region.

"Be an explorer, not a tourist. It's nice to be part of the culture rather than spend your time taking pictures. That's what we aim to convey," Noronha says.

Ansoo Gupta
Ansoo Gupta

On: September 16, 4 pm
At: Doolally Taproom, Ram Krishna Nagar, Khar West.
Log on to: doolally.in/events
Cost: Rs 900

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