Cauliflower pizza… and farm cheese instead of mozzarella

“Baldini” hires Egyptian peasant women to provide international recipes in the traditional way

A small piece of dough baked with special tomato sauce and delicious cheese can make appetite when we see it and it has become a luxury dish of baked pizza, but it can be very different when it is related to healthy recipes, here the food is safer and more economical for the whole family.

Among the many attempts that have been made to make pizza a more valuable food, an Egyptian-Italian food project called “Baldini” has recently emerged and disseminated, to provide international recipes with a heritage perspective and ingredients that enhance the identity of the local cuisine. in the hands of Egyptian farmers from the village of Saqqara in Giza Governorate.

One of the organizers of this project, Ms. Laura, told Asharq Al-Awsat: “(Baldini) is a cultural project to serve food, and when it was launched a few years ago, the aim was to provide healthy dishes that represent the Egyptian identity and the details of the heritage cuisine with its traditional ingredients.” Also, “the project aims to change the pattern of fast eating and processed foods, through two paths; preserving the original recipe, while replacing some manufactured ingredients with others that promote health and reflect the characteristics of Egyptian cuisine.”

On the secrets of healthy pizzas prepared from the goodness of the Egyptian countryside, Hadeer Ahmed, of the “Baldini” project, told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Cheese is one of the main ingredients in the taste of pizza, and here the challenge was, how do you replace the manufactured mozzarella cheese with a natural ingredient with a unique taste. Doesn’t it distort the pizza comparison?

She noted that the choice was to rely on farmhouse cheese with its goodness, which is made with “rennet” or yeast, because the taste is rich in nutrients such as calcium, and production does not go through stages that compromise its nutritional value, in addition to relying on “jameed” which is known in the countryside for its nutritional value.

Hadeer explains: “The fresh dough made from flour, water and oil plays a role in stimulating appetite. It is a tradition known to man for thousands of years, but (Baldini) farmers tried to keep the original recipe with the addition of healthy ingredients such as olive oil.”

The types of pizza differ depending on the ingredients added to the surface of the dough, and here each cuisine is distinguished by its touch.

“The balance of the elements is the formula to ensure the quality and value of what you serve,” says Hadeer. “A healthy pizza should contain vegetable and animal protein and fresh vegetables, rather than sausage or processed nutrients.”

Hadeer continues, “We offer pizza decorated with the goodness of the earth, from fresh chicken slices, aubergines, watercress leaves, tomato rings and peppers, all additions that go from nature to the pizza slice and then to the ovens.” believes that “what sets healthy pizza apart are seasonal vegetables, which is why its taste is inspired by what it grows on Earth”.

Popular dishes are linked to memories, so changing the base is a daunting task. How do you convince someone whose emotions are tied to seeing mozzarella cheese stretching from a slice of pizza to their mouth, laden with sausage rings and pepperoni,? that there are other good-tasting ingredients that can give him the same pleasure.

“Changing habits requires more effort to educate and focus on the health risks of processed foods and foods with added preservatives,” says Laura.

And she continued: “That’s why the delicious alternative has to be presented, because the taste stimulates sensory signals. Against the background of (Baldini’s) experience, it can be said that the taste, prepared by the hands of professional Egyptian farmers in the culinary arts, has succeeded in the heart of the connoisseur to combine the good taste with the healthy value.

In addition to discussing the “Baldini” project, there was a study conducted last year by researchers from the University of Michigan, the results of which were published in the journal “People”. She pointed out that there is a secret that makes the world long for this Italian food, known in its current form since the eighteenth century. It is the combination of the trio of “fat, sugar and salt” that is able to stimulate sensory signals and stimulate the appetite.

It is true that pizza has become a popular meal in the world, but it is blamed as one of the causes of obesity.

A slice of beef pizza contains more than 700 calories, which is about half of a person’s daily energy intake, in addition to negatively impacting public health due to the sodium it contains, which causes high blood pressure and keeps the heart in the long run. term.

With the trend toward healthy cooking, pizza has made its way onto the healthy options list, replacing some ingredients with health-friendly ones. The BBC’s famed Good Food chef served up a pizza made with cauliflower and spiked with protein-rich almonds, topped with egg whites and buckwheat flour, and topped with extra greens from fresh tomato rings, chilli flakes and a handful of fresh basil.