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Il Desco knowledge and flavors

il Desco è pronto, tutti a tavola!

From north to south, from Emilian tortellini to delicious Sicilian cannoli, from Sardinian cheeses to those from the mountain pastures, from Tuscan salami to Ligurian pesto, and much more are the products present at the 15th edition of Il Desco, for unforgettable gastronomic and sensory experiences to live in Lucca.

The 15th edition of Il Desco 2019

returns to Lucca on 29, 30 December, 1 December / 6, 7, 8 December 2019, a journey of discovery of the unique and authentic Italian gastronomy. Exhibitors come from all over the country: alongside the 42 Tuscans, there are also producers from Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Molise, Sicily and Sardinia.

The Desco is not only a market exhibition, but a showcase that allows to know and deepen the uniqueness and typicality of the products of our heterogeneous territory, through guided tastings show cooking, events, talks, workshops for children, exhibitions and contests. Also this year, after the success of last year's edition, the Young Chefs Competition, organized by Claudia Marinelli's Darwine and Food, is back by popular demand, during which 4 young Tuscan chefs will have 25 minutes to prepare a dish, using four of the products at the Desco as ingredients. The Desco is reconfirmed as a plastic free event: respect for the environment is a theme that the event has been carrying on for several years. Also this year the awareness towards recycling and reuse continues, using more and more biodegradable plates and glasses. Il Desco is also Esco dal Desco, with a rich calendar of events, exhibitions, workshops, conferences.

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food and history

Food has always played a central role in history since ancient times, much of what we still bring to the table today has ancient origins and was already proposed on the tables of the ancient Romans or at Renaissance banquets. The Domus Romana, on the occasion of the new exhibition of the finds returned to "situ", is present at Il Desco to tell and decorate the table of the Romans that for the Convivivm was enriched with specific utensils, rare delicacies and enjoy pleasant music (scheduled Sunday, December 1, 2019 - 12:00 am).

The food of the pilgrims, or what was eaten in the Middle Ages, what foods existed and how they were preserved, guides us to learn about customs and traditions of the medieval table, recipes, the seasonality of food is the theme of a workshop for children organized by Via Francigena Entry Point (scheduled for Saturday, November 30, 2019 - 17:30 pm).

Or, what pilgrims eat today, when are the foods needed in mind, heart and legs to get to the destination, in a talk with tasting organized by the City of Lucca (scheduled Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1, 2019 - 12:00 pm) to deepen the theme of self-packaging food easily transportable in the saddlebag of the pilgrim and food education along the paths and products of local supply chain of the Via Francigena in Tuscany.

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food and health

To live well, you have to eat well: among the events scheduled at Il Desco 2019, conferences, workshops for children, talks to explore the theme of health and food, and how proper nutrition is the best way to prevent disease and stay fit.

It begins Saturday, November 30, 2019 with the conference organized by the Disciplinary Unit of Senology of Lucca, during which we will talk about the importance of food for the health and well-being of body and mind, between sensory and pleasure, even in moments of fragility and time as one of the dimensions that fills our dishes every day, but that takes on a new taste in the transition between health and disease, producing new rhythms. In the afternoon, by Alice Benvenuti onluss, the theme of pediatric nutrition in children in hospital will be addressed.

The healthy diet also guarantees us to sleep tasty, (Sunday, December 1). This is the in-depth discussion of the conference dedicated to sleep disorders and how nutrition can help to have a better sleep, by the Sleep Centre at the "Santa Apollonia" dental practice.

The benefits of fruit and vegetables (Sunday, December 1), the importance of fish (Saturday, December 7), are the themes of the workshops for children, organized by Incanto Party Planner & Animation by Samantha Pardini, a fun way to sensitize even the youngest children.

We will also talk about food intolerances (Saturday, December 7), the real ones and recognized by the scientific community: in particular, it will be addressed lactose intolerance at 360 degrees, and it will be explained what you can eat, how you can manage both in the kitchen and outside the home, dispelling some false myths. The event will be organised by the AILI Italian Lacto Intolerant Association.

Finally, Saturday, December 7 there will be the conference The child: good food, good growth, good health, which sees interventions by pediatricians on the theme of proper nutrition from early childhood, by Prof. Raffaele Domenici in collaboration with Coldiretti Lucca, which will close the conference with a speech by President Elena Giannini entitled In fattoria ... we sow Ben-Essere, and a tasting typical of the season at km 0.

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food and creativity

The appointment for lovers of quality products is an opportunity to follow mini-courses to learn new things, but not only.

On Saturday 29th November open lesson of the Chestnut Flour Tasters Course to discover the innovative uses of chestnut flour, organised by the Associazione Castanicoltori della Lucchesia. For the occasion the chefs of the Gherardi family, owners of the Restaurant Sotto la Loggia, will propose some dishes including chestnut flour ravioli sauteed in rosemary butter.

The test of (the) chef, scheduled for Saturday, December 6, is the course dedicated to young helpers, sous-chefs and apprentices of the cuisines of Lucca. Too often in restaurants the large amount of work prevents you to stop and give the staff the time necessary for training, this little taste is intended to be the cue to devote more time to training. The sous.chef is the second chef, but his role is very important, he is responsible for the kitchen and staff, supervises the work of colleagues and reports to the Executive Chef. To participate you must send your application by filling out the form on the website of Il Desco (

Also returning for the 2019 edition are the meetings of the Fisar - Lucca Garfagnana Delegation, for a multi-sensory journey into the world of wine to learn the rules of tasting. (free event subject to online registration).

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Child friendy

Back to Il Desco the appointments for children, many workshops and activities to learn the importance of food by playing, but not only to learn about costumes and knowledge of our tradition. Also this year at the Real Collegio there will be the Kids area, where mothers can find everything they need for the Baby Pit stop, i.e. comfortable chairs, changing table and play area for their little ones.

Here are the appointments not to be missed:

- Perfumes ... in color, the laboratory to freely experiment with natural and non-toxic colors, flavored with coffee, spices and herbs to create their compositions all from ... smell! (curated by Lu.C.C.A. Lucca Center of Contemporary Art - Saturday, November 30 at 11:00 am)
- Through the reading of pages taken from the children's book "The colours of emotions" by Anna Llenas, the children's audience will identify with the story, finding themselves through the words read in the middle of the characters and stories told. (edited by Cooperativa Sociale La Luce con Confcooperative - Saturday 30th November at 2:30 pm)
- Discovering some fundamental aspects of medieval culture, such as the succession of man's work throughout the year and in relation to the seasons, focusing on crops and agricultural products of each period is the theme of the workshop scheduled for Sunday, December 1 at 11:00 am by the Cathedral Museum.
- The protagonists of the Disney cartoons will teach the importance of fish and the benefits of fruit and vegetables. In fact, according to a study by De Monfort University, playing with fruit and vegetables helps to appreciate them. (Edited by Incanto Party Planner & Animation by Samantha Pardini - December 1 at 14:30)
- Laboratory to make decorations for the table of parties with branches, barks, leaves, berries and pine cones discovering the different species that nature gives us. (by Museo Storico Botanico Cesare Bicchi and Orto Botanico - , Saturday 7th December at 11:00 a.m.).
- Learning to know the uses and customs of the medieval table, recipes, the seasonality of food and making a small artifact using creativity, is the activity of the workshop organized by Via Francigena Entry Point, Saturday, December 7 at 17:30.
- Sunday, December 8, children can have fun drawing and coloring the combustion engine of the Barsanti and Matteucci Museum, exhibited for the occasion at Real Collegio.