Mumbai: For the first time, Europe's rich and diverse culinary heritage was unveiled for Mumbaikars at a three-week-long 'Tastes of Europe' promotional initiative here Saturday.
It will also mark a first for the European Union's (EU) formal participation in the upcoming 9th Annapoorna World of Food India Fair to be held in Mumbai Sep 24-26.
The campaign includes a Restaurant Week Festival, Retail Tasting Week, industry seminars, edutainment workshops and live cooking sessions with European culinary experts.
"At the Annapoorna World of Food India Fair, EU will have one of the biggest pavilions, showcasing the diverse cuisines of various European countries for the discerning Indian consumers and buyers," a spokesperson said.
"The campaign not only provides an opportunity for the Indian consumers to taste different cuisines from across the EU, but also highlights the diversity and quality of agricultural products produced there," said Joao Cravinho, EU ambassador to India.
In India, Italian cuisine followed by Spanish is popular, but through the festival, EU intends to convey the message that 'there is much more' and introduce the unique cuisine of each of its 28 member countries.
The Restaurant Week Festival got underway today at 10 of the best fine dining restaurants in the city - Olive Bar and Kitchen, Smoke House Deli, Salt Water Cafea, Indigo, Olio Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach, Vetro - The Oberoi, Maritime by San Lorenzo, Taj Lands End, Prego - The Westin, Nido and Botticino - Trident.
These 10 restaurants have prepared special menus for food connoisseurs during the week, featuring some of the finest wines, cheeses and olives to take on a gastronomical tour of Europe.
Next week, Food Retail Week is planned involving tie-ups with some of the top food retail outlets where customers can visit EU kiosks to sample varied European foods and savour new culinary experiences.
These include Palladium Food Hall (Lower Parel), Hypercity (Malad), Haiko Super Market (Powai) and Godrej Nature's Basket (Bandra).
The EU will follow this up with seminars to engage with the Indian audience and provide an effective platform for food experts to share experiences at the Annapoorna World of Food India Fair.
Among these are the benefits of extra virgin oil and organic products. A wine sommelier will educate the layman about the pairing of appropriate food with wines and also showcase a wide variety of European wines.