Entitled ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for life’, the 2015 Expo in Milan has arrived! From the 1st May until the end of October this year, over 20 million visitors are expected to attend the huge Expo site situated on the outskirts of Milan.
145 countries are represented, most have a purpose built pavilion to call their home where exhibitions, activities and demonstrations are held for the duration of the Expo. Some like Italy and France choose to spotlight their rich food heritage (at Eataly there are 20 individual Italian regions represented, each serving the wonderful local specialties), while others look to the future demonstrating revolutionary techniques such as vertical crop growing and highlighting nutrition and environmental issues concerning intensive farming and sustainability.
The Expo Milan 2015 hasn’t been without controversy; rumours of corruption amid anti-capitalism demonstrations have dogged its realisation, but it’s impossible not to be impressed by the sheer scale of the project and the creativity of the architects behind some of the incredible Expo Pavilions. Unbiasedly, my favourite space is the UK Pavilion (click here for more).
Each country is placed into one of nine different ‘clusters’: Rice, Cocoa, Coffee, Fruit & Legumes, Spices, Cereal, Bio-Mediterraneum, Islands, Sea and Food and Arid Zones and to really enjoy Expo two things are essential; a map, and a programme of events.
Every day the list of events is huge; take one at random and you’ll find discussions on topics such as ‘Cultivating food in a changing Planet’, workshops like ‘The senses of equilibrium in the equilibrium of the senses’, and activities ranging from the scientific and educational, to the weird and wonderful. Not to mention cookery demonstrations and educational seminars from some of the best chefs in the world. Of course the range of food available on site is immense and probably the hardest thing to decide is what to have for lunch.
Depending on your personal persuasion and thanks to special permission, it’s possible to taste some food at the Expo that is normally prohibited in the EU. That includes snake wine from Vietnam, deadly Japanese puffer fish, not to mention Zimbabwe Crocodile and Sardinian suckling pig. Also available to sample are a range of insects including grasshoppers, crickets, dried termites and giant larvae.
My personal favourites are the chocolate-covered scorpions. (a bit like a toffee crisp). But don’t worry if you’re not feeling adventurous, as perhaps controversially, there is also a McDonald’s restaurant on site too.
Taking place on a global backdrop where nearly a billion people on earth are still suffering from malnutrition and even more are dying from a combination of a lack of exercise, poor diet and over-eating, the sustainability of food production and health has never been a more important issue to the worlds population.
Visiting Expo Milan 2015 is an exciting way to immerse, educate and discover our most vital of needs and for foodies with a conscience the world over, Expo Milano 2015 will be a culinary Mecca.
I stayed at the Moxy Hotel at Malpensa Airport, click here for more information.