At the end of this week, on the 31st October, the Universal Exhibition 2015 held in Milano,
is going to close its gates forever.
during this six-month period, Milano has become a global showcase where more than
the best of their technology to offer - according to the organizers - "a concrete answer to a vital
need: being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for
everyone, while respecting the Planet
, during the Industrial Revolution, a perfect time to show "the most ambitious successes
that man has achieved over time, an occasion to share
technologies, innovation and discoveries. It was also a moment to bring
to life architectural projects or artistic movements, like the
The long infinite queues
One of the most important complain I've heard about EXPO 2015 was the long infinite queues anywhere. This was partially true. The most famous pavilions like the Italian, Japanese, Swiss, and several other ones, were really "off-limits". In particular the Italian one had more than 4 hours of queue at 10AM, at the opening time! Not the Italian wine pavilion
, that at 11.AM was almost deserted.
|Italian wine Pavilion|
This was probably due to the fact that for many people tasting wine in the morning is a little bit weird. Tasting wine is very different than drinking wine: you don't need to drink all the glass, just a couple of sips can give you an idea of the quality of a wine.
I enjoyed a lot this pavilion where I could taste more than a couple of top level wines I've never had the opportunity to drink [10 Euros for 3 tastings of wine, not so bad if you are able to find what you want among around 3500 different ones from all over the Peninsula!].
Not far from the Italian pavilion, there was Franciacorta
, one of the most important regions of Italy for the production of great spumante
[the Champagne-style wine, produced in Italy and called Metodo Classico
wines]. Here I could taste an amazing Riserva from 2006, at 12 Eur/glass. Not so bad, for the very special edition and label.
|My stop at the Umbrian wines |
The long queues pushed me to change the priorities in my tour: I decided to get into the pavilions that had less crowds. In this way I could visit countries which I didn't know, like Turkmenistan, Belarus, Moldova, Angola, Slovenia and many others. In particular, I enjoyed a lot the Slovenian one, which really made me think to spend a vacation in this beautiful and very close Country.
Another area that was almost empty was the Clusters
where different communities where brought together, not by geographical area, but by a common theme and food group: rice, fruits and legumes, cereals and tubers etc. Among the 9 themes, I loved in particular the Coffee
one where I could drink a
pleasant coffee from Guatemala
[free offer], and the Bio-Mediterrean one where I tasted the very first extra virgin olive oil of the new season: a "just-pressed" evoo from Sicily
[pressed at EXPO 2015 thanks to a portable mini-olive press].
As the core theme was Food, with capital F, I've heard that many people were disappointed about the quality of the food itself and the price. I have to say, that, yes, in general the cost of the food was more expensive
than in a kiosk or a restaurant outside the event, especially the street food, in my opinion.
Personally I've planned to eat only international and ethnic food, using also this opportunity to have something different than Umbrian or Italian. Living in a beautiful, although very little region, it is quite hard to have something that differs from a torta al testo
|My favourite food experiences at EXPO2015|
At EXPO 2015 I had 2 main meals and both ok for the quality/price ratio. One in particular, was really good: the national Eritrean dish zighinì
[a sort of beef stew with legumes and mushrooms with a very unique mix of local spices] that for family reasons I've tasted many times in other occasions and restaurants. The cost: 10.50 Euro. For the second meal, we were more traditional, in a certain way, choosing Argentina
and its famous grilled meat. For a big plate of different grilled meat plus 2 beers and 2 empanadas [an Argentinian version of the Italian calzone
, thin bread stuffed with meat and cheese]: 39 Euros to share in two people.
A nice experience was at the French pavilion
. The French that they always know how to do it better, have brought to Milan an authentic boulangerie
, baking "on site" tons and tons of baguette
breads and croissants
In particular I had one of their pain au chocolat
, still hot, very good similar to the ones tasted in a [big] pastry shop in the heart of Paris: 2.50 Euros.
Then, not bad was the apple strudel
at the Austrian pavilion for Euro 5 [even if I definitely had better ones in their Country].
Feeding the planet or just a big show?
Personally I enjoyed my time at EXPO 2015 a lot. It was my very first few-days break after an intense Summer of work, I was there basically only to have fun and my professional "enrichment" from this experience was not a priority.
EXPO Milano was both for me: a way to reflect once again on the contradictions
of modern word about food and, especially, food waste
, and for the same reasons, a big, expensive show, where food was at the very same time "the victim and the torturer". The reflection on the huge number of people who are still very far from the basic food needs, together with the huge availability and offer of "all-you-can-eat" to the wealthy EXPO visitor.
And...no. I really don't know, I can't say how many people in the crowds and infinite queues have really caught - under the colored neon lights and the Tree of Life's las-vegas-like-show - the utmost importance of the original message : being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for
everyone, while respecting the Planet
Official EXPO2015 website
Bureau international des Exposition