Tempi di Recupero, aka Recovery in the kitchen
Recovery noun (Oxford Languages) /rɪˈkʌv(ə)ri/ [countable, usually singular, uncountable noun)
- Reacquisition of possession, availability of an object or good or anything else that was feared to be definitively lost or destroyed
- fig. The object of the repurchase can be identified in a positive or advantageous condition (r. energy, health, functionality of a limb) and, referred to people, in a reintegration in social life by means of a re-education work
Positive and advantageous, the recovery we want to talk about and in particular the one referring to cooking, because the meaning chosen by Oxford Languages emphasizes the appetizing and tasty opportunity that we have (literally) in our hands and in addition, never before, it is precisely at the table that we fight the game of sustainability. International interests gravitate on food, from deforestation to desertification, and our daily choices can make the difference. Buying from small producers, prefer quality products, prefer biodiversity, are small daily gestures to express our opinion. Let’s not forget that only ten years ago organic products were almost a chimera, especially in supermarkets and consequently in production, while today they are widespread and subject to political choices.
What is recovery in the kitchen?
The recovery of tradition and memory, which is what we need to keep our roots and territorial culture firm. It is the basis of one’s own identity, the one to start from, as long as it is not ballast. In gastronomy it could be the observation of the grandmother while cooking and the will to imitate her to replicate the delights of the table, but putting what we tasted from the aunt. Which is also what happened to many great chefs.
The recovery of the integrity of raw materials. We got used to eating only part of the food, fillets of animals and fish, discarding the skins of fruits and vegetables, eliminate the leaves. And yet, since we want to eat animals, all their parts have the same dignity and properties, which is also the case for vegetables, just know how to use stalks, stems, and peels to diversify the variety of textures and flavors, and increase the nutritional intake, especially vitamins and minerals. A necessary condition is to have quality raw materials that exclude the use of chemical additives in the field and in storage. The high investment will be perfectly rewarded by the higher amount of available product. Some examples? Vegetable peels are ideal for broths, or tasty seasoned and baked snacks, carrot leaves are perfect for omelettes, or to flavor salad. The pea pods can be used to make delicate and delicious creams.
The recovery of surpluses. With a rational use of supplies, so much should be enough. But our life is becoming less and less predictable and it happens that in our homes there are leftovers, like an already cooked dish, cheese crusts. The recovery will also do justice to what we might consider waste, but which in reality are precious ingredients. To give a few examples, stale bread is the main ingredient of the kitchen of the recovery, as well as traditional cuisine: meatballs, knodel, gnocchi, gazpacho, breadcrumbs are just some of the possibilities of reusing the overabundance of bread. Yesterday’s pasta can be the base of omelettes, or reprocessed, or sautéed in the pan renewing the ingredients. Fruit and vegetables a bit withered or overripe are perfect for fermentation and preserves.
From all this we can see that, as for anything, you never stop learning, because the issue is to combine experience, tradition and technical, technological and biological knowledge, without forgetting creativity. Luckily for us, the bulk of the work is done by cooks and chefs, from which we can surmount ideas and recipes at full hands!