Gurmetti

When choosing food, knowing where it comes from / where it was produced is a big bonus for me. Knowing that the ham I eat at lunch break comes from a small farm near Parma, produced from wild black pigs in traditional (and ethical) ways, transported to London without being frozen, prepared by an Italian whose family is involved in the industry for several generations, and sold in a family-owned customised three-wheel Piaggio van, is a massive bonus too. This is why Gurmetti is one of my favourite food trucks in London, as I strongly feel Italian authenticity, and use of quality fresh products in simple combinations.

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I like small, simple and authentic stuff. Why would I prefer a huge truck selling greasy bread chunks with pizza flavourings to this three wheeler, which looks like it just parked here after a short journey on narrow dusty  Italian village roads under hot sun?

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Giacomo Bia is quite noticable with his stylish van and a big moustache (no, nothing to do with Movember). I love trying food that I haven’t seen before and tend to ask about them to get recommendations and learn their stories. And this time, Fiodena was Gia’s recommendation to me.

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It is basically a Focaccia with smoked shoulder of wild black pig and red Tropea onion and balsamic vinegar marmelade (mostarda). Focaccia is toasted, crispy on the outside and soft inside. Looks thick, but it is not dense so it’s very light and delicious. It seems it is toasted with olive oil which gives the food a perfect Mediterranean touch. Ham is wafer thin, tasty, and lightly smoked – I did not get a strong smokey taste like in a smoked salmon slice. Onions in the jam are soft and the sourness of the balsamic vinegar gives a nice kick. However, I found this taste a bit dominant, and think it might have been better balanced with less jam or one more slice of ham. Overall, I think Fiodena in Gurmetti is quite a good starter to share or a light lunch.

Rating: 7.5 / 10

Price: £5

In another visit to Gurmetti, I must admit I met a more special food. Meet Tonnito:

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This is basically shredded pork, chickpeas and onions in a wrap (piadina). Make no mistake though, it is not the pulled pork of an American diner. It is called Tonno del Chianti (Tuna of Chianti), and it’s prepared by boiling pork in a white wine & spice mix, and marinating in olive oil. It has a tuna-ish taste and look, hence the name. It’s prepared by probably one of the bests butchers in the world; Dario Cecchini, and some of it is shipped right to London, to Gurmetti! It also gained a larger audience after it was served at one of USA’s best restaurants Chez Panisse. Just like that dish and per Cecchini’s recommendation, tonno del chianti in Tonnito is served with chickpeas and onions.

Pork is very tasty and nowhere similar to any other pork product I have ever eaten, and indeed it tastes like tuna, even their chunky texture is almost the same. Gia drizzles lots of quality olive oil that’s imported from Italy as well, and I love it. Onions are sweet and a good kick to pork taste, whereas chickpeas are a good carb filler. Lastly, rocket’s slight bitter taste balances other flavours by providing freshness. Overall, this is a tasty, light, and more than anything: a special food.

Rating: 7.5 / 10

Price: £5

Location:  Mostly at KERB, sometimes at Camden Town Brewery. Best would be to check their Twitter account.

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