Recipe to solve a crisis
In 2012, Italy was hit with a earthquake causing 26 deaths and widespread damage according to Wikipedia.
“Parmigiano reggiano factory”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
One of the biggest hit were the cheese makers in Northern Italy, where they make the lovely Parmagiano cheese. About 1000 of these wheels of cheese (which are massive in size) were in danger of losing due to the damage to the structures holding them.
The association of the cheese makers come to Massimo, the famed Italian chef (read Oops! I dropped the lemon tart for more) for some ideas.
Massimo comes up with a creative idea.
“I made it as a social gesture,” he told us, “something that featured the flavors of the region affected by the earthquake, including rice, as well as some of the nearly 1,000 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano that were damaged—we wanted to create a dish that would utilize them.”
The result is a simple but sumptuous dish, which, as Bottura put it, “borrowed an iconic Roman spaghetti dish…and transformed it into an Emilian symbol of hope and recovery by using Parmigiano instead of pecorino, and rice instead of pasta—it was the beginning of our revolution with risotto.”
More than 40,000 people cooked this recipe and helped the cheese makers from going bankrupt. One recipe! Brilliant.