The Pantry of the Future
Expo Milano 2015
This prominent international exhibition looks at how to feed the planet in the future, showcasing food products and innovative ideas from around the world, as well as outstanding architecture and design.
Text: maría josé frazzoni @mjfrazzoni | photos: rodrigo díaz wichmann
In the neighborhood of Rho, less than ten miles from downtown Milan, there’s plenty going on these days. From May 1 to October 31, a 10-million-square-foot expo site is hosting pavilions from 145 nations, international and civil society organizations and corporations.
Organized by cardo and decumano – types of streets built during the Roman Empire – the expo offers a tour of the best in contemporary architecture, with spaces dreamed up by geniuses like Sir Norman Foster, Jacques Herzog, Daniel Libeskind and Michele de Lucchi.
One example is the United Arab Emirates pavilion, designed by Foster to simulate desert sand dunes with wavy, 40-foot-high walls. And U.S. architect Daniel Libeskind came up with the project for the Chinese multinational Vanke: a pavilion covered in tiles resembling orange fish scales.
The firm of Herzog & de Meuron was responsible for the space dedicated to the Slow Food trend. Along the same lines, Michele de Lucchi came up with the first structure that greets visitors to Expo Milano 2015: Pavilion Zero features a landscape inspired by the Euganean Hills, exploring the relationship between humankind and nature through a series of artificial caves.
Latin America in the house
Brazil, Colombia, México, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, México and Chile are all participating in the exhibition, showing the world the best they have to offer in terms of food. Brazil’s 44,500-square-foot space bears the slogan “Feeding the World with Solutions” and presents the country as the region’s top agricultural producer. Brazil’s pavilion showcases dishes made from meat, tropical fruits, corn, coffee and grains. Colombia’s pavilion features five areas heated to different temperatures to represent the country’s various climates. Under the slogan “Naturally Sustainable,” the culinary selection from this country incorporates different kinds of meat, beans and potatoes.
The exhibit “Argentina Feeds You” is full of examples of that country’s food and culture, while Chile’s contribution focuses on the emotional bonds uniting everyone who works the land and produces, transports, cooks and enjoys food. “El Amor de Chile” resembles a wooden bridge and highlights ingredients like the chili pepper spice blend called merkén, pine nuts (piñones), Chilean guavas (murtas), Chilean blue mussels (choritos), honey, sea salt and goat milk.
All in all, Expo Milano 2015 is much more than a culinary and technological showcase. It engages in a worldwide discussion aimed at ending hunger and finding a way to sustainably produce enough nutritious food for a world population expected to surpass nine billion by 2050. in
Daily flights to Madrid from Santiago and Lima and three flights a week from Guayaquil, followed by oneworld connections to Milan.
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- All the pavilions must be built using eco-friendly materials with sustainable methods. Once dismantled, many of the structures will be reused in their country of origin.
- International figures serve as “ambassadors” at the event, including designer Paul Smith, actress Ornella Muti and Juventus goalie Gianluigi Buffon.
- The official mascot is a Disney Italia creation named “Foody,” with a face made of fruits and vegetables.
- In addition to its symbolic value, the coin designed for the event is legal tender and can be used within the Expo and in the province of Milan.
- Visitors to the Japanese pavilion can sample the “forbidden food” of fugu – or pufferfish – which must be prepared with extreme care lest its poison kill the eater.