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      January 2015 > Clean eating, the Appian way

Clean eating, the Appian way

After the gastronomic and culinary excesses of Christmas (wonderful as they hopefully were), many of us are now looking to simplify our diet, possibly to shed a few pounds or maybe to temporarily, at least, give the arteries a break.

The best way to do this, so we are told by health experts, is actually to change our eating habits and maintain a balanced diet all year round so that the occasional blow-out like Christmas (after all, no-one is saying give up the finer foods in life forever) can be enjoyed without the guilt.

Indeed, you may have seen dietary experts on the TV recently espousing the virtues of ‘clean eating’, which for those of you who have not come across the term before, means eating food that has not been adulterated by factory (or other) processing. Only eat food (where practicable) that you have ‘processed’ yourself, so that you know exactly what has gone into the finished dish. In essence, it’s about going back to basics and eating like our caveman ancestors – the food foraged, fished or farmed but, above all, fresh.

Self guided walking holidays in Italy

I suppose there are aspects of the Mediterranean diet that fit this bill perfectly as illustrated by Rick Stein last week on BBC1’s ‘Saturday Kitchen’. He was travelling along the Appian Way through Puglia in southern Italy and called in at the Masseria Il Frantoio – which just happens to be where you will stay for three nights on our ‘Journey Through Puglia’ holiday. As Rick is soon told by charismatic owner Armando Balestrazzi, the glorious Mediterranean sunshine of southern Italy encourages the growth of such good tomatoes, garlic, olives, herbs, grass (for the lambs) and warm blue waters (for the fish) that excessive manipulation of the food is completely unnecessary.

Self guided walking holidays in Italy

The result is locally-sourced produce, simply cooked to create simple, yet delicious, dishes that are vibrant in colour and a joy to savour. Dishes you may enjoy include orzotto, made with pearl barley, pumpkin and a sprout of butcher’s broom; wild artichokes cooked in wine with tassel hyacinth and orange honey; or laganari, a type of fresh pasta with stuffed tomatoes or maybe lamb with potatoes from the crock pan.

Join Rick and Armando in Puglia here >

Self guided walking holidays in Italy

The principles of Clean Food are in many ways akin to the Slow Food movement which has been growing in popularity across the world for many years. In fact, so much so, that it now even has a foothold in outer space!

In December 2014, the Sunday Times reported that Samantha Cristoforetti (the first Italian woman in space) has had all her space meals prepared in advance by Slow Food advocate, Italian chef Stefano Polato. Ok, so the meals still have to be freeze-dried and vac-packed (there wasn’t room for a wood-fired oven), but once she adds a drop of hot water to her dinner each day, the International Space Station will be filled with the tempting aromas of home-made risotto, lasagne, caponata and tiramisu – and maybe even a rocket salad, too? She may be orbiting the earth at 14,000mph but that’s no reason not to enjoy the benefits of Slow Food.

Posted: 06/01/2015 14:56:55 by | with 1 comments
Filed under: gastronomy, Italy

Eileen Steele
Italy is heaven, and one of the few places in continental Europe where a vegetarian can eat well!
17/01/2015 12:26:18

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