Italian Cuisine Week introduces focaccia col formaggio to Saudi Arabia

Italian Consul General Stefano Stucci with Lucio Bernini, project manager for Consorzio Focaccia di Recco. (AN photo)
Updated 23 November 2019

Italian Cuisine Week introduces focaccia col formaggio to Saudi Arabia

  • The Italian Cuisine Week has been celebrated for four years, to promote Italy’s traditional food

JEDDAH: Thursday night witnessed the 4th Italian Cuisine Week at the World Street Food Festival, where residents of Saudi Arabia came together under the umbrella of culture to try focaccia col formaggio.

Held at Al-Basateen Compound, the Italian Consulate General in Jeddah set up an elaborate street food scene around the pool area, ranging from big local Italian brands from Piatto to Lallo Ristorante serving finger food, gelato and coffee. 

“All across the world, Italian embassies and consulates are celebrating the joy of Italian food — welcome to the fourth Italian Cuisine Week,” said Italian consul general, Stefano Stucci.

“Tonight is a night dedicated to street food,” he added, thanking a number of the partners who made the event happen. “Most importantly, we have Consorzio Focaccia di Recco who have come all the way from Italy to give you a taste of focaccia di recco with cheese.” 

Focaccia col formaggio is, simply put, a cheese pie often made with stracchino cheese, sea salt and olive oil, in a thin layer of dough, originating from the coastal village of Recco.

Italian chefs Fabrizio Passano and Umberto Squarzati flew all the way from Italy to deliver the taste of focaccia col formaggio to Saudi Arabia.

In closing, the consul general talked about recent events in Venice, where flooding has increasingly threatened the historical site. He urged whoever was capable to donate, no matter how small an amount, to rescue the sinking city. 

“Please contribute so that Venice can rise back from the water and return to its pristine beauty,” he told guests.

The Italian Cuisine Week has been celebrated for four years, to promote Italy’s traditional food and dining experiences, a substantial part of the country’s identity. This year, it will run from Nov. 18 to 24.

Saudi Arabia deserves praise for best Hajj arrangements

Muslim pilgrims leave after offering noon prayers outside the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. (AP)
Updated 26 January 2020

Saudi Arabia deserves praise for best Hajj arrangements

  • Presence of 2.6 million Indian expats in Saudi Arabia boosts bilateral ties

On the occasion of India’s 71st Republic Day, I extend my best wishes to my fellow Indian citizens in the western region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations which reflect centuries-old economic and socio-cultural ties.
Visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016 and in October 2019 plus the exchanges of other high-level visits have further strengthened the warm relations between the two countries.
As our prime minister said during his visit in October 2019, India would work hand-in-hand with Saudi Arabia on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan.  
The presence of over 2.6 million Indian expatriates in the Kingdom has also contributed immensely to the strength of economic and socio-cultural ties between our two nations.
Bilateral trade delegations have also increased in the last few years. Indian business delegations are now a regular feature of trade exhibitions in Jeddah and other parts of the Kingdom. The Indian Consulate in Jeddah works tirelessly and diligently to provide the best possible service to Indian nationals residing in the western region of the Kingdom.
This good service includes reducing to three working days the length of time required for issuing/reissuing passports.
The introduction of an e-visa facility for Saudi nationals has further streamlined visa processing and provides a smooth first step for those wanting to visit India.
The Indian government and the people of India are grateful to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Hajj Minister Dr. Mohammed Benten for making excellent arrangements during Hajj 2019. In that year, 200,000 Indian nationals performed Hajj and more than 650,000 Indians came for Umrah.
The Indian side remains committed to partnering closely with Saudi Arabia and working toward a very successful Hajj 2020.
We sincerely express our gratitude to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi ministries of foreign affairs, labor, interior and the authorities of Jawazat, Tarheel and other concerned agencies who have always provided exemplary assistance to the consulate which has enabled the comfortable stay of the many Indians visiting, living, and working in the Kingdom.

• Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh is India’s consul general in Jeddah.