China Eastern Airlines offers Italian delicacies during the Italian Taste Week until Nov 29. CHINA DAILY
Although the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prevented many people from traveling around the world, passengers with China Eastern Airlines can partake in authentic Italian cuisine at its VIP lounge at Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport this week.
Themed "Boundless delicacy", the Italian Taste Week was launched jointly by China Eastern's catering subsidiary and the Italian Trade Agency's Shanghai office. The event, which kicked off on Nov 23, will run till Nov 29.
This is the first time that an Italian taste week has been introduced to aviation catering, according to the organizers.
To offer a closer look at how Italians eat, the Italian Trade Agency has selected three classic Italian recipes for Chinese Eastern passengers, according to Trade Commissioner of ITA Shanghai Office Massimiliano Tremiterra. These dishes are panzanella, saltimbocca and zuppa del duca.
"The current pandemic situation has made international traveling difficult. As such, we decided to offer a bite of Italy in this cozy airport space while we look forward to welcoming again numerous Chinese tourists to our country," said Michele Cecchi, the consul general of Italy in Shanghai.
"The ITA has offered us videos made by senior Italian chefs about the three special dishes. We have tried our best to present the dishes accordingly," said Jiang Libin, director of the creative center with China Eastern catering.
Jiang, a veteran Chinese chef, said he was impressed by the standard of cooking and detailed cooking explanations in the videos.
According to Gu Eryi, a manager of the VIP lounge, passengers, female in particularly, have shown great interest in learning how to prepare the dishes.
"The process of cooking the Italian dishes has also inspired us to cook Chinese cuisine. I am looking forward to launching more Italian dishes on our flights in the future after the epidemic is contained and international traveling is restored," said Jiang.
The event is one of the latest achievements the recent China International Import Expo has made possible. Representatives of China Eastern and the Italian Trade Agency met with one another on Nov 5, the first day of the expo, before making the decision to launch this special Italian Taste Week.
According to Consul General Cecchi, the Italian Taste Week is part of a series of activities held across the world to celebrate the annual Italian Cuisine Week in the World. This year's edition is said to be more meaningful as 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Italy-China diplomatic relations.