It was a long time I wanted to write this story which is funny: Italian food is finally available in the space thanks to the chef Davide Scabin. I had read a few articles about that, it was not enough for me; then, in May, the big event “Le strade della mozzarella” (Mozzarella routes) begins as usual (it took place in Paestum, in Campania region from May 12 to 14).
It is a successful event that promotes mozzarella as the queen of the table. A very well organized event with a busy schedule of conferences held by the most renowned chefs from all over Italy, who offer dishes based on mozzarella cheese: “pure” mozzarella, as wine lovers would say, mozzarella with pasta but also fish or meat and even in the desserts recipes. Another area is devoted to the “Taste Club”: laboratories dedicated to the preparation of typical dishes, such as pizza (classical and fried), bread, the typical dessert of Napoli: “Baba” and so on, the public can try once ready. There is also a beautiful outdoor terrace with a swimming pool for tasting boots to taste the mozzarella itself, wine, beer, olive-oil and even coffee prepared with innovative methods. Finally, also 2 important wine tastings have been scheduled (I will write about them afterwards).
And so, on the 12th I went to Savoy Beach Hotel -where the event took place- and I immediately met the popular journalist Luciano Pignataro (italian famous wine critic): media partner of the event, presenter and consultant, who showed me the way. I tell him: “I would love to follow some conventions this morning” and Luciano “Great, come with me, I have 2 seats in the front”. Sounds good, we get in the room and I realize that I can follow the intervention of Davide Scabin already struggling with a beautiful smoked mozzarella! The time to seat and the waiter comes to serve us a silver bag and a central plate with mozzarella, anchovies and tomato. At first glance, one might imagine the silver bag contains refreshing wipes; but I immediately recognize it, I am sure: it was the package of spaghetti for astronauts!
I do not believe my eyes: I finally got the chance to even try them!
Davide Scabin, chef of the restaurant ‘ Combal.Zero’ in Rivoli had been, in fact, contacted a couple of years ago by the Director of Argo-Tech, on behalf of ESA (European Space Agency) in order to prepare a few dishes that astronauts could bring with them on a mission. It seems, in fact, that in the space astronauts generally eat american food, so many of them also dreamed Italian lasagna, spaghetti and tiramisu. At first it seemed a joke, Scabin himself believed it was a joke but it was not! And it was not even easy to realize it because of the complex dehydration process (and subsequent rehydration) which allow to store food for months. It seems, in fact, that it was not easy to find a balance of flavors: it took several experiments . But in the end they made it! I have tried them, I have a proof!
The chef prepared, on the occasion of “Mozzarella Routes”, a very fresh dish: he asked us to ‘pour’ spaghetti with tomato sauce directly from the envelope in the plate ready with smoked mozzarella, anchovies, fresh basil and olive oil. Ladies and gentlemen: they were perfectly ‘al dente’, I can say it was a successful experiment!
NOTE: I am sorry for the quality and the scarcity of the pictures, unfortunatelly I have lost some because I have had a problem with my PC.