As a guest of a tailor-made luxury travel firm based in Milan, I became one of the 20 million expected visitors to ‘Expo Milano 2015’ that runs from May 1 to October 31. It is the first time in 15 years that Europe has hosted a World Expo, with more than 147 countries and international organisations sharing ideas and solutions on the theme of ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’. They cogitate over the critical question - how to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, whilst respecting the planet and its equilibrium.
Korean cuisine is widely known to be one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. It is the home of Kimchi,a fermented cabbage dish like no other, which underpins the health giving properties of Korean food and is the most important accompaniment to every meal in every household and restaurant across the peninsula. During Expo the Korean Pavilion introduces the best of Korean cuisine under the theme “Hansik, Food for the Future: You are what you eat’. The secret to Korea’s cuisine is ‘Fermentation’, the process through which sugars are converted into acids. In food products, this typically means carbohydrates being broken down into lactic acid using yeasts and healthy bacteria, yielding a number of positive effects. But it is more than scientific mechanisms around preparation, production and diet, but the intimate culture that has evolved through millennia that creates the uniqueness of Korean cuisine and another platform for discussion.
Other countries and Pavilions give visitors the opportunity to walk across suspended netting, that forms a canopy above a garden composed of Brazilian vegetation, follow the journey of a honey bee in an English orchard and wildflower meadow before spiralling into a structure that imitates a bee hive or watch an interactive animation film created by the EU Pavilion to explore how joint cooperation can lead to a strong marriage between scientific research, tradition, nature and sustainability for global food security.
The Expo covers 1.1 million square meters of exhibition space, so big that a shuttle bus circuits the show stopping at no less than 10 times for visitors to maximise their time and energy. Reserving energy is essential because just a short train ride away, one of the world’s great city centres awaits in classical elegance and style. A good starting point is Milan Expo Gate, the two modular, transparent and eco-sensitive buildings stand in front of the defensive architecture of the 14th century ‘Sforza Castle’ and is a short stroll from the unimaginably beautiful gothic masterpiece that is ‘Milan Cathedral’.
Expo Milano 2015 is a fun, educating forum and I urge you to be one of the other 20 million expected visitors
Written by Ramy Salameh