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The Dominican Republic. A natural paradise with crystal-clear seas and virgin forests where nature celebrates abundantly

Culture / -

© Moirenc CamilleHemisCorbis

Spectacular and spontaneously attractive in its absolute simplicity, offering irresistible endless beaches whose white sands carouse with the legendary Caribbean sea, and also equally irresistible freshly picked tropical fruit, this country is a lavish concentrate of flora, fauna and brilliant colors.

Surrounded by one of the most stunning seas on the Planet, the Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola – the biggest of the Caribbean archipelago, after nearby Cuba – with its neighbor Haiti. With over 1,500 kilometers of coastline, the country lives above all from tourism, but also from its plantations of tobacco, coffee, cassava and sugar cane. It can also boast a whole series of spectacular Nature Reserves, including the La Caleta National Undersea Park, which contains magnificent sea beds typical of the Caribbean.  Among the island’s animals are crocodiles, snakes, hummingbirds and pelicans, while its seas are frequented by humpback whales, barracuda and turtles.
 
A cuisine rich in colorful and zero kilometer ingredients
The Dominican Republic’s culinary tradition is delicious and extraordinarily varied. It stands
out for the freshness of its ingredients, from especially fertile soil and seas. The climate
encourages sweet and abundant fruit which matures on the trees (mango, papaya and avocado), while numerous dishes are based on rice (its main dietary protagonist), chicken and sundry vegetables generously served in the numerous restaurants scattered across the landscape. Fish, seafood and crustaceans are also a plentiful part of the local diet, whether fried, roasted or served in vibrant salads. The plantain (a banana variety mostly eaten fried and salted) is a ubiquitous element at the table – as are beans and pumpkins. The Slow Food Foundation is active on the island, especially in protecting a particular kind of coffee, grown on the Sierra Cafetalera
 
More power to family farmers for a better Planet
The Dominican Republic participates in Expo Milano 2015 from the Coffee Cluster
and its participatory theme is “More power to family farm workers, to help them feed themselves, their communities and the world”. Inside its dedicated space, the country offers themed itineraries connected with the production of highest quality coffee and the efforts it has made to overcome malnutrition and ensure food security to all its inhabitants.
 
 
Discover the Dominican Republic’s Pavilion
 
 

Kenya. A land of contrasts and unique characteristics

Culture / -

© Hugh Sitton-Corbis

Kenya is like a mosaic of different kinds of territory and ecosystems, from the coastal zone to the savanna, and from vast highland plateaus to rugged mountain chains, to the Rift Valley and Lake Victoria.

A fantastic and much-loved tourist destination, Kenya in November will welcome a truly illustrious visitor: the Holy See has confirmed that Pope Francis will honor the country with a visit. This is a highly important event for the African nation which will find itself back in the spotlight immediately after the end of the Universal Exposition. And it will have yet a further opportunity to show the world its natural treasures and resources.
 
The Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most unforgettable experiences for visitors to Kenya: a territory home to the Masai, a people who live in harmony with the so-called Big Five: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes. The Serengeti Park is world-famous for one of Nature’s most spectacular events: the migration of the gnu, when thousands and thousands of animals migrate from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara in autumn and vice versa in spring.
 
For those who love the sea, the coastal zone – especially near Mombasa – offers superb beaches and warm tropical waters swarming with colorful fish. Here swimmers can encounter crustaceans and invertebrates near the coral reef, and dolphins and turtles and even swim with sharks in their natural habitat.
 
Two dishes: Githeri and pilau
 
Among typical Kenyan dishes, Githeri is a traditional recipe from the Central Province based on beans and corn. This has become popular all over the country, due to its ingredients being available everywhere. There is also a richer and more complete variant, where diced meat and potatoes are added. Pilau, on the other hand, is a specialty from the Swahili coast in East Africa. The rice is flavored with spices and cooked in a tasty broth made from meat, fowl or fish. This dish is typically associated with festivities. It can be served hot with a tomato-based sauce or with a beef or chicken stew.
 
Food safety, at the heart of the Kenyan Pavilion
 
Kenya is present at Expo Milano 2015 in the Coffee Cluster. The visitor’s attention is directed towards one of the most important challenges faced by the country: food security. Food is not only indispensable for proper nutrition, it is also a link between different cultures. Today, a plant disease in a Kenyan coffee plantation can change the price of an espresso in a bar in Rome. The Pavilion naturally offers visitors the possibility of tasting its top gastronomic products, including various blends of arabica coffee.
 
The climate of Kenya’s highland plateau is ideal in particular for growing arabica coffee. Kenyan coffee is world-famous for its quality, which also derives from the volcanic soil where it is cultivated, and because it is treated immediately on being harvested, thus maintaining its floral aroma. As well as its taste, Kenyan coffee is also recognized as possessing various health benefits, which have led to it being described as a superfood: it is rich in antioxidants, which prevent damage being caused by free radicals. Coffee also reduces the risk of certain chronic diseases, and various studies have demonstrated its anti-depressive properties and its ability to favor short term memory.
 
 

Romania. In harmony with nature… around the table too

Culture / -

© Staffan Widstrand/CORBIS

Vast plains, plateaus with hills, and mountain chains: Romania features a varied and harmonious landscape with vivid contrasts. And a treasure-trove of history and culture spread across the landscape.

At the cross-roads between influences from Western, Byzantine, Slavic and Oriental cultures, Romania’s heritage is fascinatingly complex. It counts more different bio-geographical areas than any other member of the European Union, and in particular, the quantity and density of biodiversity found in the area of the River Danube’s delta makes it a priceless “Biosphere Reserve” containing many species no longer found anywhere else in Europe.
 
Strong flavors from the earth at the table
Romanian culinary tradition is typically based on extremely intense flavors: its multitude of varied dishes includes various types of “Ciorba” vegetable soup, made with pork, chicken, veal or turkey cooked slowly on a low heat, with generous amounts of spices. Another typical dish is the “Mamaliga”, a corn pie served with a kind of sheep’s cheese known as “Brânza” and accompanied by fried onions, eggs, fresh cheese, salted fish or “Tochitura” meatballs with chicken’s liver and pork. The “Brânză de Burduf” is a Slow Food Presidium, being a Romanian pressed sheep’s cheese produced principally in the Carpathian Mountains. On the slopes of the Bucegi mountain range, in Transylvania, the tradition of transhumance grazing is still strong and cheese-making is one of the principle activities of the local population. Milk is coagulated, salted and churned, then left to mature in a container made with bark from pine or fir trees from May to July, when the trees are richest in intensely aromatic resin: this gives the cheese a special resinous flavor and consistency.
 
Romania, a traditional spirit revitalized by modernity
The country’s Pavilion contains a garden surrounded by a ring of wheat, evoking Romania’s tradition of cereal cultivation. The building’s creative concept underlines the profound bond between the country’s deeply-rooted traditions and the primordial elements of Nature. Harnessing modernity to tradition, Romania offers the world its example of accessible and sustainable resources in healthy food and clean energy. The main entrance to the Pavilion evokes Pan Pipes, an instrument much loved in Romanian music. On the ground floor, the visitor makes a virtual journey through Romania’s landscapes filled with natural beauty, while the floor above contains a stylized contemporary version of a typical village dwelling in the Danube delta, made of wood and glass and surrounded by a large garden.
 
 

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