Eating well on a zero budget
I have been living in Italy for three years now. Twice a year I have two month were I have zero income. I have to reduce my budget down to almost zero. My first year here in Italy I struggled very hard with my financial limitations. The experience was new and I was unprepared. Fortunately my culinary training paid off. Creativity and technique were my saving grace.
Now in my third year I have learned how to eat well while staying within my very limited budget. Utilizing everything to its maximum potential is essential. I always have dry beans, different types of rice and dried herbs on hand. I stock up on really good wines during the months when my salary is normal. During my financially lean months I am the most experimental in the kitchen. Last year I learned to expand my baking skills and I am no baker.
This year I am learning to celebrate fresh seasonal foods at the peak of flavor. People often think to eat well you have to spend large amounts of money but having working in a professional kitchen I know better. You have to be bold and efficient in how you use the ingredients that are available within your budget. There are times when you have t plan long term strategy for the times when everything is not readily available. Food security is a real issue that affects millions of people globally. Black bean soup and black bean burger are nutrient dense and economically friendly. Sea food such as shell fish can serve double duty as the shells often make for a great stock that can be used to flavor many other dishes. Fruits can be dessert friendly. Popcorn can be made and flavored is so many creative ways.
Gastronomy is not about how much you spend but how well you can celebrate the food.
Keep exploring my fellow Gastronomers.