Italy, guest of honour
Italy is the guest of honour of Sirha 2013!*
*L'Italia è il paese ospite d'onore del Sirha 2013!
The food service market in Italy
In an overall context where spending is falling, -0.8% in the Euro zone on average (France: -0.3%), food service expenditure is still increasing in Italy where it has grown by 0.5%. One noticeable feature is that the number of restaurants and fast-food outlets has increased at the expense of bars. This modification is mainly due to market changes, in particular the system of regulations regarding the creation of new companies, which provides greater commercial freedom to restaurants.
Changes in consumption modes in Italy
In the past few years, Italian families turned to more rational food consumption and more traditional products. Currently in Italy, an average household allocates less than a fifth of its budget to food expenditure. Family budgets have been resized during the economic crisis, leading to bars and restaurants expanding at a slower rate.
Schools and training centres specialising in food services
In Italy, the school that has been training “chefs” for decades is the National Hotel Institute. The training programme lasts 5 years and is followed by approximately 70,000 students per year. Additional training is sometimes pursued in private schools, where students perfect their skills in top level cooking or in schools like the “Food service Division of the Vocational Academy”, which offers practical courses to become a pastry-chef, a pizza chef or a “regular” chef.
Between 450,000 and 500,000 tonnes of olive oil on average are produced every year, representing a total value of €3.5 billion. Olive oil is the main component of the Mediterranean diet, which was added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010. Balsamic vinegar is a typical condiment produced in Modena and Reggio Emilia, in the Emilia Romagna region.
We can also find 45 different AOC and IGP certified cheeses, such as Parmigiano Reggiano, pecorino, caciocavallo, ricotta and Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. Italy is the country with the most varied wine production in the world. Some of the most popular Italian wines come from Piedmont and Tuscany: Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Barolo and Barbaresco remain the signature Italian wines on the international marketplace.
Italy has managed to keep strong regional identity in its gastronomy: each region is proud of displaying its old traditions and its own specialties, which explains why Italian cooking is still based on the richness of its typical products and the variety of regional specialities.
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