Avocaderia by Alberto Gramigni [epub | 46,52 Mb] ISBN: 1328497933

  • Full Title: Avocaderia: Avocado Recipes for a Healthier, Happier Life
  • Autor: Alberto Gramigni
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication Date: December 4, 2018
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1328497933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1328497932
  • Download File Format | Size: epub | 46,52 Mb
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Innovative and wholesome recipes for living your best avo life, from Brooklyn's Avocaderia, the world's first avocado bar

New York City’s buzzy all-avocado bar, Avocaderia, became an overnight success and instant global destination when it opened in early 2017 to a flurry of media attention and lines out the door. Avo-lovers come from all over the city—and the world—to sample the restaurant's healthy and unique eats that are as beautiful as they are tasty. For restaurateurs Alessandro Biggi, Francesco Brachetti, and Alberto Gramigni, the avocado isn't just a superfood packed with nutrients and heart-healthy fat—it's a versatile ingredient that gets people excited about eating well. Now readers can bring the Avocaderia experience home, whether it's to make one of the restaurant's signature dishes, like the Avo Burger, or to try their hand at inventive new offerings, like Avo Tartare.

With flavor inspiration from around the world, from Mexico to Italy to Morocco, this book offers super-delicious, clean-eating dishes that will take you beyond toast and guacamole (though the restaurant's creative interpretations on classic favorites are also included!), to satisfy every craving:

•Baked Avocado with Egg and Crunchy Parm
•Roasted Roots Farro Bowl
•Guac-Fried Tots with Pico de Gallo
•Zucchini Spaghetti with Avocado Pesto
•Avo-Lime Cheesecake

Imaginative and playful, this book delivers recipes that nourish your heart, stomach, and soul. Get ready to spread the love.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ALESSANDRO BIGGI, FRANCESCO BRACHETTI, and ALBERTO GRAMIGNI are three Italians whose passion for avocados led to the founding of Avocaderia, Brooklyn's one-of-a-kind, all-avocado cafe. Alessandro Biggi is a native of Pisa, Italy. He is also the CEO of Zooppa, a creative agency, and works in business development for Italian innovation company H-Farm. Francesco Brachetti, originally from Prato, Tuscany, fell in love with avocados after working in Mexico for several years, which sparked the idea of opening an all-avocado restaurant. Alberto Gramigni is the chef behind Avocaderia. He has a passion for food, and also produces tomatoes and extra-virgin olive oil on his farm in Prato, Tuscany.









Recipes copyright © 2013 by Camilla V. Saulsbury

Photography copyright © 2013 by Tina Rupp

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, without prior written consent from the publisher.

With reference to the chapter “Super-Natural Knock-Offs,” use of third party trademarks does not imply or constitute sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement by the owners of any third party trademarks. All trademarks are the properties of their respective owners.

Published by:

Lake Isle Press, Inc.

2095 Broadway, Suite 301

New York, NY 10023

(212) 273-0796

E-mail: [email protected]

Distributed to the trade by:

National Book Network, Inc.

4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200

Lanham, MD 20706

1(800) 462-6420


Library of Congress Control Number: 2013941821

ISBN-13: 978-1-891105-54-8

ISBN-10: 1-891105-54-X

Book and cover design: Ellen Swandiak

Editor: Jennifer Sit

This book is available at special sales discounts for bulk purchases as premiums or special editions, including customized covers. For more information, contact the publisher at (212) 273-0796 or by e-mail: [email protected]

First edition

Printed in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


A teacher who inspired me for a lifetime and taught me how to embrace creativity at every opportunity.


My sincerest thanks and appreciation, and a batch of homemade energy bars anytime and anywhere, goes out to the following people.

To my savvy, talented, cheer-leading agent, Clare Pelino. If you hadn’t taken the time to chat, out of the blue, on a cold, rainy afternoon in New York, this book would not have happened. Thank you for introducing me to Lake Isle Press; it is a perfect fit for this project, in every way. You are a superstar.

To Hiroko Kiiffner and Jennifer Sit: I knew I was in excellent hands from the moment we began our first conference call. I cannot say enough about your kindness, encouragement, creativity, generosity, and hard work in making this book a reality. I love that you included me on every detail of the book’s process and encouraged me to push the possibilities for this book. Plus, you are both such delightful, considerate people. I consider myself very lucky indeed to be working with two such talented women!

Heaps of thanks and praise are also due to Ellen Swandiak, the brains behind the design of this book. I was a nervous wreck upon arriving at the first day of the food photoshoot; you swept it all away the moment I walked through the door and you instructed me to make myself at home (followed by an offer of a freshly brewed cup of coffee, which was exactly what I needed).

To Tina Rupp, photographer extraordinaire: I was a huge fan of your work before we met, and yet you still managed to surpass my expectations. What a thrill, too, to find out that the woman behind the photographs is every bit as phenomenal. I had so much fun working with you and could not be happier with the final images.

To Kevin and Nick, for all of your combined love and support, as well as for eating so many of my homemade energy bars over the years (even some of my less successful experiments/mistakes). You give me so much energy and inspiration—I love you with all my heart. Thank you, too, for (1) disappearing to the park for several hours when I needed some extra time to meet deadlines; and (2) understanding when I was too pooped from testing power bar recipes all day to make dinner.

To my parents, Dan and Charlotte, for supporting every one of my new ventures—always—with unwavering support and love.

Finally, to all of my fitness class participants, fitness buddies, and the readers of my blog, Power Hungry: your feedback of, and enthusiasm for DIY energy bars is what prompted me to keep creating new recipes and eventually sparked the idea for this project. This book is for all of you.

Here’s to being power hungry!




The Power Hungry Pantry


Super-Natural Knock-Offs

Activity Bars

Endurance Bars

Protein Bars

Raw and Almost Raw Bars

Ingredient Sources



This book has been more than a decade in the making. It all began in my twenties, the better part of which I spent eating out of my backpack.

My twenties meant graduate school, and that translated to working a ridiculous number of jobs, including, but not limited to, fitness instructor, sociology instructor, food columnist, and personal trainer. Oh, and then there was the business of being a graduate
sugar free ice cream, ice cream ice cream, simple pancakes, wine shipping, swedish pancakes,
ounger generation who has studied in America and lived in the UK, I like to take a different approach: after all, with home cooking, you can’t spend four years learning to wash rice. Thankfully, there’s a difference between going out and respecting tradition, and making something lovely to eat at home.

With nigiri, you have to slice the fish very quickly, touching it only once – in fact, my old mentor doesn’t use his right hand at all to touch the fish – and you would never make nigiri at home, because it wouldn’t taste right. But you can make temari, which is very similar in style, easy to make, and looks stunning. If it’s nigiri you are looking for, then save your appetite for the many high-end restaurants and enjoy watching the beautiful work of a master sushi chef!

So the ingredients, the setting and the atmosphere may change, but the general approach in all cases is a real care for the food’s preparation and the quality of ingredients. Sushi always feels like a treat, a fine-dining experience, but it can be prepared easily at home. Sushi is a cuisine in itself, defined in all its forms by the pride taken in making something really special and delicious. Whatever the setting, sushi is my favourite food and I always delight in teaching people how to make it.

Sushi is not something to be afraid of. You need to learn a few methods to prepare beautiful sushi at home, but don’t worry – this is not about spending ten years training in a Kyoto kitchen or using expensive equipment; in fact, I’ll be showing you how to use a hairdryer to perfect your rice. And nowadays you can buy a huge range of Japanese products very easily, without breaking the bank.

The most important thing is keeping an open mind: whether you want to use caviar or cucumber, as long as you enjoy what you make, then that is fine. A simple pasta dish is truly great if you use fresh, good-quality pasta cooked properly; similarly, if you make good rice, then you can make wonderful sushi. Japanese food is very simple to make, it is one of the healthiest ways to eat and it can be easily incorporated into your daily life. Achieving the equivalent of al dente perfection can be a precise process, so follow the methods carefully and enjoy the challenge. Get the basics right, be discerning with your ingredients and experiment!

My Approach

Japanese food is so delicious that it is easy to forget that it is healthy too, and I love teaching people how to prepare it. My approach is based on three principles:

Chisan, chisho – ‘produce locally, eat locally’

As far as possible use ingredients that can be bought easily and locally: ready-cooked crab, smoked salmon, mackerel, asparagus, cucumber, avocado, spinach and green beans, for example. Of course, we don’t live in a bubble, and Japanese food would be impossible to create without some key ingredients from further afield. Luckily, sushi rice, nori, wasabi and other formerly hard-to-find products are all now widely available in supermarkets and online, which makes it much easier, but my sushi recipes are designed to be accessible and enjoyed by anyone keen to learn, in any location.

Nowadays you can eat everything, everywhere, at any time. However, I recommend trying to use the ingredients available to you, as inventiveness improves the experience. It was only when my family visited Tokyo that we would eat Edomae, or Tokyo-style sushi, for example. I love exploring different parts of England at the weekend and using Norfolk smoked fish or Cornish crab to create new recipe combinations, and I grow some of the more difficult-to-find ingredients, like the herb shiso, in my garden.

Otaku – ‘[be a] geek!’

Talk to your grocer and your fishmonger. Care about the ingredients and the process. Be fussy about what you use in your dishes and where it comes from. There are no short cuts or tricks if you don’t have good fresh fish or vegetables. When I first took my friends to Japan we caught the bus to Yamanashi, a journey of two hours or so. The whole way there, three elderly but very lively ladies were having a passionate chat. Keen to know the subject, my friend was surprised to discover that they had been talking about food – in this case pickles – for over two hours: the best way to pickle daikon, its health benefits, its taste, what time of year to do it, the beautiful colours you could achieve depending on which vinegars were used, and so on.

Tejun and tegiwa – ‘preparation and process’

Get the basics right. As with the example of al dente pasta, Japanese food is about getting some basic methods spot-on. To make perfect sushi rice, for example, it is critical to cool it down properly (not only to give it the right texture, but also for safety), and learning how to do this is integral to the process. It is really easy to do and makes all the difference. Skip it and it will not be right!

nearest pizza shop, milk and cookies, thai iced tea, vegan chicken, eclectic restaurant,
t IV : From the Main Course to the Finish Line

Chapter 13: Chicken

Handling Chicken

Cooking Chicken

Down-Home Barbecued Chicken

Chinese-Spiced Baked Chicken

Grilled Lime-Cumin Chicken Cutlets

Gingered Roast Chicken

Mediterranean-Spiced Chicken with Olives

Jerk Chicken


Southeast Asian Chicken Saté

Thai Chicken Curry

Indian Chicken Curry

Tandoori Chicken Cutlets

Chapter 14: Meat

Meat Matters

Steak au Poivre

Southwestern Flank Steak

Beef and Bean Chili

Indonesian Beef Saté

Brazilian Picadillo

Coriander-Spiced Burgers

Cape Malay Bobotie

Tex-Mex Meatloaf

Beef or Pork Stew with Juniper and Chile Powder

Beef or Pork Adobo

Spicy Roast Pork

Fragrantly Spiced Maple Spareribs

Hot and Spicy Roasted Ribs

Spice Islands Lamb Stew

Curried Lamb Kebabs

Indian Rogan Josh

Hungarian Veal Goulash with Mushrooms

Chapter 15: Seafood

Fish Facts

Tuna or Salmon Teriyaki

Fish Veracruz

Southeast Asian Fried Flounder or Sole

Roasted Moroccan Monkfish

Spicy Crab Cakes with Cilantro Sauce

Masala Fish


Shrimp in Chile Adobo Sauce

Shrimp Curry

Shrimp in West African Peanut Sauce

Chapter 16: Vegetables and Legumes

Veggie Basics

Prepping Veggies

Spiced Roasted Vegetables

Braised Cumin-Coriander Carrots

Spicy Green Beans

Garlicky Broccoli Stir-Fry

Gingered Zucchini or Summer Squash

Mashed Spiced Butternut

Braised Red Cabbage with Caraway, Apples and Bacon

Greens with Mustard Seeds, Onions, and Tomatoes

Fragrantly Spiced Spinach

Spiced Lemony Lentils

Vegetarian Bean Chili

Chapter 17: Pasta, Potatoes, and Grains

Using Your Noodles

Quick Fixes

Cold Spiced Noodles with Sesame Oil and Vegetables

Pasta Puttanesca

Indonesian Peanut Noodles with Vegetables

Spiced Couscous with Currants

Mashed Vanilla-Scented Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Cumin

Curried Barley Pilaf

Spiced Rice with Almonds

Chapter 18: Quick Breads and Sweets

Baking Know-How

Caraway, Cheese, and Bacon Beer Bread

Cumin-Chile Corn Muffins

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Chocolate Cinnamon Sauce

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

Spiced Chocolate Loaf

Spiced Apple Cake

Nut Biscotti with Anise

Vanilla Sauce

Spiced Poached Fruit

Chapter 19: Beverages

Drink It Up

Mulled Red Wine

Hot Spiced Apple Cider

Mexican Hot Chocolate

New Orleans Café Brulot

Spiced Iced Tea

Bloody Mary Mix

Part V : The Part of Tens

Chapter 20: Ten Spicy Presentations

Garnishing Basics

Ten Spicy Garnishes

Chapter 21: Ten Spicy Sources

Chile Today-Hot Tamale

Dean and Deluca

Earthy Delights

The Great American Spice Company

McCormick & Company Inc.


Mo Hotta-Mo Betta


Spice Hunter

Vanns Spices

Appendix A: Metric Conversion Guide

Appendix B: Glossary of Cooking Terms

Appendix C: Spice Quantity Guide

Dried Spices

Fresh Spices and Aromatics

: Color Insert


T hough commonplace for centuries in the East, spices were the prized culinary treasures of royalty and the wealthy merchant class in the Western world until the nineteenth century. Fortunately for us, they are now widely available at a relatively low cost. Their scent today graces most kitchens worldwide. Spices give food depth, character, aroma, and above all, taste. Used in both savory and sweet dishes, spices offer you wide range of flavors to choose from and experiment with.

In this book, you discover that cooking with spices is easy and fun. Cooking with Spices For Dummies is divided into five parts that guide you through the world of spices so that you know how to make the most of the spices that are available to you. From historical tidbits to down-to-earth tips, you find out how to buy, prepare, combine, and cook with spices. You also discover some of the world’s most-loved dishes and some exciting new recipes.

How to Use This Book

The world of spices is at your fingertips; you can discover it in this book. Embark on a culinary tour and discover the commodity that incited nations into wars.

This book takes a practical and modern approach to cooking so that you can create healthy and delicious meals without having special skills or spending a great deal of time in the kitchen. The featured recipes range from simple spice mixtures to sauces, so
chicken casserole recipes, japanese restaurant, chinese pancakes, fried rice, rachel ray,
plit the cake horizontally into three and fill and cover with the cream, using a small palette knife to smooth it evenly over the top and sides. Decorate the top with the orange zest. Store in the refrigerator.

For a video masterclass on icing a cake, go to www.mykitchentable.co.uk/videos/icing

Cappuccino Cake

Make sure you use deep sandwich tins for this recipe, as the shallower tins tend to overflow. They are available from good cookshops or by mail order.

Cake tins needed: 2 loose-based 20cm (8in) sandwich tins, 4cm (1½in) deep

50g (2oz) cocoa powder

6 tbsp boiling water

3 large eggs

60ml (2fl oz) milk

175g (6oz) self-raising flour

1 rounded tsp baking powder

100g (4oz) butter, softened

275g (10oz) caster sugar

for the filling and topping

300ml (½ pint) pouring double cream

1 level tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 2 tsp hot water

a little cocoa powder or drinking chocolate, for dusting

Step one Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/gas 4. Lightly grease both the tins and line the bases with non-stick baking parchment.

Step two Put the cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl, add the boiling water and mix well until it has a paste-like consistency.

Step three Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and whisk with a hand-held electric mixer until just combined. The mixture will be a thickish batter (be careful not to overwhisk).

Step four Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins and gently level the surface. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until the cakes are well risen and beginning to shrink away from the side of the tin. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Step five To finish the cake, whip the double cream until it just holds its shape and then stir in the dissolved coffee. Use half the cream to fill the cake and spread the remainder over the top. Gently smooth the surface with a palette knife and dust with sifted cocoa or drinking chocolate. This cake is best eaten fresh; store in the fridge if necessary.

For Mary Berry’s guide to baking equipment, go to www.mykitchentable.co.uk/authors/MaryBerry/equipment

Frosted Walnut Layer Cake

This is a truly old-fashioned cake iced with a simple ‘American frosting’ of sweet whipped egg white.

Cake tins needed: 3 x 20cm (8in) sandwich tins

225g (8oz) butter, softened

225g (8oz) caster sugar

4 large eggs

225g (8oz) self-raising flour

2 level tsp baking powder

100g (4oz) walnuts, finely chopped

for the frosting

2 large egg whites

350g (12oz) caster sugar

4 tbsp water

¼ level tsp cream of tartar

to decorate

walnut halves

Step one Preheat the oven to 160°C/Fan 140°C/gas 3. Grease the tins then line the base of each tin with non-stick baking parchment.

Step two Measure all the ingredients for the cake into a large bowl and beat until thoroughly blended. Divide the mixture equally between the tins and level the surfaces.

Step three Bake for 25–30 minutes until the cakes are golden and springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Step four To make the frosting, measure all the ingredients into a bowl over a pan of hot water and whisk for 10–12 minutes until thick. Sandwich the cake layers together with a little of the frosting, then use the remainder to cover the top and sides of the cake, swirling the icing to form softened peaks. Work quickly as the icing sets rapidly. Leave to set in a cool place, but not in the fridge.

Step five Decorate with the walnut halves.

Don’t be tempted to use more baking powder than specified, or the cake will rise up and then sink back again. In this all-in-one method, self-raising flour and baking powder are used together to give the cake the necessary lift. The quickness of the method means that less air is whisked into the mixture than if the cake is made the traditional way.

Very Best Chocolate Fudge Cake

This will become your favourite chocolate cake recipe – it is the best! It is speedy to make and the easy filling doubles as an icing. The cake is moist and has a ‘grown-up’ chocolate flavour.

Cake tins needed: 2 deep 20cm (8in) sandwich tins

50g (2oz) sifted cocoa powder

6 tbsp boiling water

3 large eggs

50ml (2fl oz) milk

175g (6oz) self-raising flour

1 rounded tsp baking powder

100g (4oz) butter, softened

275g (10oz) caster sugar

for the icing and filling

3 tbsp apricot jam

150g (5oz) plain chocolate (39 per cent cocoa solids)

150ml (¼ pint) pouring double cream

Step one Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/gas 4. Grease the tins, then line the base of each tin with non-stick baking parchment.

Step two Blend the cocoa and boiling water in a large bowl then add the remaining cake ingredients and beat until the mixture has become a smooth, thickish b
vegetarian times, whole food plant based recipes, smoothie diet, chana bhatura, delicacy food,
e, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons of the black pepper, and the crushed red pepper. Whisk in the 1 cup of olive oil, and pour the marinade into the bag. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, red onion, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining tablespoon of garlic, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the peppers, stirring as needed, until soft, about 20 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar to the pan, and cook for 10 minutes more, or until the vinegar is reduced to a syrup and the peppers are well coated. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the remaining ¼ cup parsley, and set aside to cool.

3. Remove the flank steak from the marinade and pat it dry. Discard the marinade. Season the steak all over with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Heat a grill pan over high heat, and when it is hot, add the steak. Grill the steak for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove it from the pan and allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes; then slice it thinly across the grain.

4. Place the arugula in a bowl and lightly dress it with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.

5. To assemble: Lay 1 slice of cheese on each of 4 slices of the toast (if desired, warm them in the oven until melted). Spread mayonnaise on the remaining 4 slices of toast. Divide the steak among the cheese-topped toasts, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Mound the peppers over the steak, and then add the arugula. Top the sandwiches with the remaining toast, cut them in half, and serve immediately.


4 sandwiches

This is a really easy steak sandwich—the tenderloin cooks quickly, and you know it’s tender. I guess that’s why I like it so much. Some of the crust may fall off when you slice into it, but don’t despair—scoop it up and sprinkle it over the meat to get that nice horseradish flavor.

1½ pounds center-cut beef tenderloin, trimmed

¼ cup garlic cloves

¼ cup finely chopped shallot

2 tablespoons minced canned anchovies, or 6 whole fillets

1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 ounces fresh horseradish, finely grated (about ½ cup; see Note)

Four 4-inch sections ciabatta bread (about 1½ loaves), halved lengthwise

About ¾ cup Creole Mustard Mayo

½ cup -inch-thick red onion rounds

2 cups fresh arugula, rinsed and spun dry

2 cups fresh spinach, rinsed and spun dry

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1. Allow the tenderloin to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

2. Position an oven rack in the center and preheat the oven to 400°F.

3. Place the garlic, shallot, anchovies, ½ teaspoon of the salt, ½ teaspoon of the pepper, and the thyme in a food processor and pulse to blend. With the motor running, add the oil in a steady stream. Transfer the paste to a small mixing bowl. Stir in the horseradish.

4. Season the tenderloin on all sides with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper, and evenly coat it with the horseradish mixture. Transfer the tenderloin to a small roasting pan and roast until the thickest part registers 130°F (for medium-rare) on an instant-read thermometer, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove it from the oven, tent it with foil, and set it aside to rest for about 20 minutes. Then slice the tenderloin crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices.

5. Place the bread, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Pinch and remove some of the bread filling, leaving about ½ inch of thickness. Place the baking sheet in the oven and toast until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the toast to a work surface. Spread about 1½ tablespoons of the Creole Mustard Mayonnaise over each piece. Layer 4 to 6 slices of tenderloin on each bottom half of the toast. Divide the onion slices among the sandwiches.

6. Place the arugula and spinach in a mixing bowl. Drizzle the sherry vinegar over the top, and season with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Toss to coat well. Divide the greens among the sandwiches, and complete with the top halves. Serve immediately.

Note: Fresh horseradish can be found at Whole Foods and in many supermarkets.


16 small sandwiches, 4 to 6 servings

Talk about outrageous! This is a battered and deep-fried ham, turkey, and cheese sandwich. Don’t be apprehensive about the confectioners’ sugar and the preserves. Give this classic combo a try; it’ll truly knock your socks off. And let me tell you, I don’t even know what it would do to your guests over brunch!

8 slices White Sandwich Bread

Whole-grain or Dijon-style mustard

Mayonnaise, homemade, or store-bought

12 ounces sliced Swiss cheese

8 o
tanti, e a volte anche di più. E se cercando di capire molte questioni relative al cibo e alla salute, io mi affido inevitabilmente alla scienza (compresa quella riduzionista), uno dei miei obiettivi è dimostrare i limiti di un approccio strettamente scientifico a un soggetto così ricco e complesso. Forse un giorno gli scienziati «risolveranno» il problema della dieta racchiudendo in una pillola il pasto perfetto; ma al momento e per il prossimo futuro, sarebbe un errore lasciare che siano loro a decidere per noi. Perché non ne sanno abbastanza.

Voi potreste giustamente chiedervi chi sia io per darvi dei consigli. Con quale autorità metto in discussione le indicazioni della scienza e dell’industria alimentare? Semplicemente, con quella della tradizione e del buon senso. Gran parte di ciò che dobbiamo sapere sul cibo lo sappiamo già, o lo sapevamo finché non abbiamo permesso agli esperti della nutrizione e alla pubblicità di minare la nostra fiducia nelle indicazioni dei nostri sensi e nella saggezza delle nostre mamme e delle nostre nonne.

Non che avessimo molta scelta. Negli anni Sessanta era diventato praticamente impossibile difendere il modo di mangiare tradizionale dall’invasione di cibi industriali. Pensare di gustare prodotti coltivati senza fertilizzanti chimici o carne di animali allevati all’aperto senza l’impiego di farmaci era pura utopia. I supermercati erano diventati gli unici luoghi ove fare la spesa, ma il cibo vero spariva dagli scaffali per essere sostituito dalla moderna cornucopia di prodotti simili al cibo, uno più artificiale dell’altro. E poiché tante di quelle novità ingannavano i nostri sensi con dolcificanti e aromi artificiali, non potevamo più affidarci al gusto o all’olfatto per sapere cosa stavamo mangiando.

La maggior parte dei miei suggerimenti non sono che strategie per sfuggire alla dieta occidentale. Ma prima del diffondersi dei mercatini, della nascita del movimento per il biologico e della riscoperta dell’agricoltura locale, l’idea di uscire dal circuito alimentare convenzionale poteva sembrare irrealistica. Oggi non più. Riguardo al cibo stiamo entrando in un’èra postindustriale; per la prima volta nella nostra generazione, possiamo lasciarci alle spalle la dieta occidentale senza rinunciare alla civiltà. E più saranno coloro che con la forchetta voteranno per un diverso tipo di cibo e un diverso modo di alimentarsi, più questi prodotti saranno disponibili e abbordabili. Questo libro vuol essere, fra le altre cose, un manifesto del mangiar bene, un invito a unirsi al movimento che sta rinnovando il nostro sistema alimentare in nome della salute – intesa nel senso più ampio della parola.

Dubito che la terza parte di questo libro si sarebbe potuta scrivere quarant’anni fa, se non altro perché non ci sarebbe stato modo di mangiare alla maniera che io suggerisco senza tornare alla terra e coltivarla noi stessi. Sarebbe stato il manifesto di un eccentrico. Nel menù nazionale esisteva solo un genere di cibo, ed era quello che rifilavano, in quel momento, l’industria e il nutrizionismo. Quell’epoca è finita. Oggi i consumatori possono compiere scelte reali, e queste producono conseguenze reali, per la nostra salute, la salute della terra e quella della nostra cultura alimentare – le quali tutte, come vedremo, sono inestricabilmente connesse. Il fatto che qualcuno senta di dover scrivere un libro per consigliare di «mangiare cibo vero» potrebbe essere preso come una prova della nostra alienazione e confusione. Ma potremmo scegliere di vederlo in una luce più positiva e considerarci fortunati di avere ancora la possibilità di mangiare veri alimenti.





Se vi è capitato di andare nei supermercati negli anni Ottanta, avrete notato un fenomeno singolare: il cibo spariva a poco a poco dagli scaffali. Non nel senso letterale della parola; non sto parlando di penurie di approvvigionamenti in stile sovietico. No, scaffali e congelatori erano ancora stipati di pacchi, scatole e sacchi di commestibili vari, che anzi aumentavano di anno in anno, ma una gran parte dei prodotti tradizionali venivano sostituiti sistematicamente da «nutrienti», che non sono la stessa cosa. Laddove prima sulle confezioni multicolori che affollavano le corsie si leggevano nomi di prodotti familiari – come le uova, i cereali per la colazione o le patatine – ora comparivano a caratteri cubitali nuovi termini dal suono scientifico come «colesterolo», «fibre» e «grassi saturi». Più importante del cibo in sé era la presenza o l’assenza di queste sostanze invisibili. Il messaggio implicito era che i normali alimenti, al confronto, erano un concetto grossolano, ormai superato, privo di valore scientifico: chi poteva dire che cosa contenevano in realtà? I nutrienti invece – quei composti chimici e quei minerali che gli scienziati hanno identificato come importanti per la no


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