Sustainability is an environmental concept that focuses on finding an ecological way to meet the needs of the global population without compromising the world for future generations. How does this challenging concept live in the restaurant business? At Terroni, our first steps towards sustainability and a future with zero waste started with our bread.
Each day, Sud Forno distributes approximately 500 loaves of freshly baked bread to all of our locations. Leftover bread is inevitable and has challenged us to find a way to avoid major food waste. Fortunately, we simply had to look to the past to find solutions for the future. The “no food waste” philosophy has deep roots in Italian culture, where leftovers have consistently been re-used. Historically, waste was a luxury no one could afford and, consequently, there are many traditional recipes that give new life to d bread. For our chefs, the solution was to lovingly recreate some of these traditional Italian dishes and, of course, use their creativity to come up with new and exciting menu items to resurrect our leftover bread.
One of the most wonderful things about our bread is that it has a consistency that when soaked in liquid, it doesn’t become soggy. This ability to be re-incarnated lends itself best to traditional soups and salads. In our kitchens, day-old bread is transformed into everything from simple staple items such as breadcrumbs and croutons to more sophisticated savoury dishes like Ribollita, a traditional Tuscan bread soup made with kale and cannellini beans. We also prepare the popular Panzanella, a rustic summer salad where the bread is revived in extra virgin olive oil and vinegar and tossed with tomatoes, herbs and cucumbers.
Another great example of how bread can taste even better on the second day is Canederli. Typical of Trentino Alto Adige, canederli are bread dumplings made by combining day-old bread with milk, butter, flour and eggs that are then served in broth. They will be introduced to our summer menu with a new take on the recipe that includes our homemade ‘nduja. On the sweet side of things, leftover bread is used to create desserts such as Budino (pudding) or Gelato di Pane. We haven’t stopped here, though.
In collaboration with Slow Food, Terroni hosted an event where day-old bread was the star ingredient of each recipe on the entire menu. Each course was an example of how an ethical approach can start in the kitchen. With sustainability efforts on the rise across the globe, Terroni is on the way to becoming zero waste by design. We can’t wait to share what the next steps will be.