An idea: fried food (but properly made) in pizzerias

At PizzaUp, discussing how to make the menu varied using fried food. Cassi contradicts nutritional doubts

27-02-2017

Final Hurray at the end of the eleventh edition of PizzaUp in Vighizzolo d'Este, Padua: close up of Piero Gabrieli and Chiara Quaglia 

A symposium dedicated to pizza but without speaking of dough, leavening and topping. Just fried food. This is what the eleventh edition of PizzaUp looked like.

Why a symposium on pizza without discussing pizza?
1) PizzaUp has walked side by side with the growth of the industry in the recent past. Pizza is flourishing once again. Pizzaioli are now sharing ideas with great chefs. Yet if high quality pizzerias want to act like a great restaurant, their culinary offer should also be wider: not just pizza but a complete menu. PizzaUp 2017 suggests a fried starter, but it’s just an idea. 

2) If a high quality pizzeria wants to act like a restaurant, it must also do it in terms of turnover. A restaurant doesn’t make money with main courses but with what’s on the side: starters, desserts and beverages. A high quality pizzaiolo must do the same: that is to say use pizza to cover costs and then add other elements that can offer a higher margin.

Corrado Assenza

Corrado Assenza

Why fried food, though?
1) Fried food is an idea, it’s not compulsory. But it’s a brilliant idea because in the words of chef Marco Valletta, one of the speakers at PizzaUp, it perfectly fits a pizzeria and pizza: «Most pizzaioli have small kitchens: setting up a 3-litre fryer, however, creates no issues. It only requires a square metre.

2) Fried food can be oily, difficult to digest. If we fry food properly, with portions not too big, it’s something delicious and enjoyable. It must be made properly: this is what Valletta and even master Corrado Assenza said.

Davide Cassi, in the middle

Davide Cassi, in the middle

Isn’t fried food bad for you though?
The answer came from Davide Cassi, founder and director of the Culinary Physics Lab at Università di Parma. He explained: «We don’t just feed our body, but our mind as well: our emotional side is equally important. Good food is (also) food that makes us feel good. Diets in hospitals are balanced but patients often feel depressed and this doesn’t help them in their recovery. Eating tasteless food is bad for you». Of course you need moderation: «Fried food is not poison: if you eat a portion it won’t create any problem. Even eating a portion too big is not a problem per se, as long as in the following days you’ll compensate with other food».
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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