Many people today are approaching the world of vegetables.
Some become vegetarians with or without animal derivatives, other eat just raw food or become fruitarians, others decisively decrease meat consumption. The motivations are many, from health, environmental, ethical and moral reasons, to religious-spiritual ones.
Through his eating habits, each living being expresses its personality, who is a tiger, who a gazelle, who is a human in its innumerable characteristics. The paradigm shift for our species occurs when what we eat becomes also our philosophy of life. In the food are condensed the principles of identity, of our cultural belonging, but also those of our more individual characteristics.
The fascinating journey of life, in this world in perpetual change, often aims at personal evolution, this happens inexorably at every moment, in a positive or negative way, and is marked by our choices and, of course, also by what we eat.
This exquisitely changes us, so it is very important to reflect on what we have at our disposal.
Is it really suitable for us? Does it correspond to our aspirations? Would we really eat junk food or, worse, those earthworms and those cockroaches as they propose today in these new food fads?
With its intelligence and optimism, the vegetables-based diet is becoming more widespread and it is also modifying the proposals of large-scale retail trade in a more sustainable and lighter direction.
This presupposes a dietary knowledge, and it is really important to develop a balanced diet for ourselves and for the others, healthy and without deficiencies.
The composition of the ideal menu is simple, few proteins and animal fats, few sugars, a reasonable quantity of cereals, if possible, integrals, and many vegetables.
It is not that simple, though, since there are many other notions to know that, in this small text, we will not elaborate. Instead we took care of putting it into practice, that is what to do with the many stimulating vegetables that we find every season, by creating complete dishes.
We briefly presented the ingredients in first person, not always originating in Europe, but often as the result of exchanges that have always enriched humanity and laid the tables of all civilizations.
Then there are suggestions for combinations that we have called marriages of taste, which are also a common thread that weaves the plot and the warp of the text.
A varied and colorful cuisine is healthier, the differences that distinguish it are its tastes, summarized in six main ones: salty, sweet, sour, spicy, bitter and astringent.
Each vegetable contains at least two tastes, a main and a supporting one; for example, the beet is sweet and slightly acidic, the eggplant savory and slightly bitter, sometimes spicy, the pepper sweet and slightly bitter, the green celery savory, slightly acidic and also a bit bitter, and so on. The first step is to know its taste characteristics, only then we can prepare some stimulating dishes.
The tastes then spread to the world of condiments, useful to the palate and to the assimilation of nutrients, essential to give each dish its originality. In our idea of cooking we always act for complement or contrast. That is to say with a broccoli, sweet and delicately bitter, we can decide whether to increase its peculiarities by roasting it gently in a pan with some turmeric, or if enhance it with something spicy like pepper, hot pepper or ginger. A simple and infinite game, whose possible combinations are all to be discovered.
Our intent, at Joia and at the Joia Academy does not stop here.
The food we choose stimulates feelings, better if positive, as well described by oriental dietary sciences. The good feelings help us at first to feel good in our skin. So satisfied, peacefully we can walk, as pilgrims in the sacred journey of life.
A nice reflection, as you will see. Does it work? The only way is to cook these stimulating recipes, share them with whoever you want and see what happens.
Ah, last but not least:
taste, like an umbilical cord, connects us to Mother Nature, source of pleasure and happiness. Have fun with this book to discover it!
Sauro Ricci, born in 1981 in Orbetello (GR), completes the hotel school and is formed in haute cuisine restaurants, working with Antonio Guida and Michelino Gioia.
Fascinated by cultural and religious diversity, he graduated in Anthropology at the University of Siena in 2010 with a thesis on Macrobiotic, completing his studies in Lisbon at the Portuguese Macrobiotic Institute.
He arrives at Joia in 2013, where he finally meets the convergence between haute cuisine and food suitable both for the body and for the spirit.
He became Executive Chef in 2014, the year in which the Joia Academy, the training institute linked to the restaurant, was born; it was founded together with Chef Leemann, to spread the values and techniques of vegetarian cuisine.
Nowadays, chef Ricci coordinates all the activities related to the Joia’s kitchen, and manages the work of the numerous brigades, applying his knowledge to the research of the quality of excellence, as well as playing the role of educational director at the Joia Academy.