Italian Cuisine History
The legacy of Italian Cuisine dates back to 4000 years ago and roots in Roman Empire. Although Italy had become a united country in 19th century, there are some traceable facts regarding food and culture of this legendary cuisine. The most influential culinary arts in Italy rests in Tuscany, an area of north central Italy, where the cuisine mostly centers on a variety of meats, cereal grains, and heavy soups. One of the most interesting food cultures in Italy is serving a great, healthy wine at every meal. In this article, we introduce Italian Cuisine History And Specialties in more details.
The next crucial impact on Italian cuisine history is the mixture of different cultures namely Greek, Roman and Arabs. it contains exotic and familiar specialties such as wine, olive oil, bread, vegetables, legumes, cheeses, Ostrich meat, fish, sauces, pickled olives, dried figs, almonds, and walnuts, smoked fish and casseroles, rice, a variety of spices, and notably, coffee.
It is a proven fact that Italian food culture is popular all over the world. Many people consider it as one of the nicest historical cuisines in the world. The passion is so evident in Italians when they prepare their food. Their hospitality is also famous when they invite you to dine with them. The pleasure you see in their faces while they eat or treat is incredible. It makes you captivated to live in the moment and enjoy the experience of a real Italian food. Italian food is the combination of the history and culture of Italian people. Nowadays, you do not have to travel to Italy and enjoy delicious Italian food, because in every corner of cities in the world you can probably find one Italian restaurant where you can enjoy a live experience.
Popularity of Italian Cuisine
Italian Cuisine History And Specialties suggest that the popularity is not only the tastes but also the exquisite aromas of Italian cuisine due to consuming various herbs and spices.
There is a misconception about Italian cuisine that it mainly offers pizza, pasta and spaghetti. Italian dishes are varied and healthy, and multi-layered in different ways.
Every region in Italy is very accepting with foreign cuisine and this led to development and popularity of local culinary traditions in centuries. For example, Sicilian cuisine has often been under the influence of different foreign culinary traditions over the centuries. Typical of Sicilian recipes take advantage of many different species of fish such as tuna, bream, squid, swordfish and others. The food recipes of Greek, Arabic and Spanish cuisine have a considerable impact on Sicilian cuisine.
Tuscany has simple but tasty food recipes that mostly contain fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, and home-made bread.
Facts in Italian cuisine
It must be interesting to know some facts about Italians and their cuisine:
- Nearly 450 different types of pasta produce in Italy.
- It is interesting to know that each Italian consumes 23 kg Pasta per year. However, other Europeans consume pasta around 6 pounds yearly.
- Sitting with the family members at the table and enjoying homemade meal is well-respected and it is more precious than everything else in Italy.
- There are some core ingredients in each Italian dish which are tomatoes and corn.
- Pizza Margarita is famous because of Queen Margarita who was visiting Naples. The queen wanted to taste the poor dishes in a pizzeria where the chef offered her a pizza look like Italian flag – white (mozzarella), green (fresh basil), red (tomatoes). From then on, pizza Margarita ingredients contain only these three items.
Italian food culture
Italian Cuisine History And Specialties in this article says: It’s interesting to know that Italians often care about their decent meals. Lunch in Italy is one of the meals that often followed by a variety of appetizers. It begins with a combination of cheese, salads and olives, and in the main meals, you see the combination of Pasta and Risotto mostly.
As Italians put especial value on eating and their meals consist of different sections. Basically, their meals start with an appetizer or antipasti. The second section is Primi meal which is an Italian food; it is a mixture of pasta or soup. The next meal is Secondi, which is the main meal and it often contains meat or fish. It also accompanies with some varieties of vegetables and this section is Contorni. At the end, it is Dolci or dessert turn and it is the final section of Italian meals.
As the Italian food is now a global cuisine, there are so many varieties in types of recipes in Italian Cuisine History And Specialties. Many people who are interested in Italian food usually satisfy their cravings with Italian dishes in veg or non-veg, such as home-made pizzas, pasta – penne, lasagna, spaghetti, macaroni. You can toss them in various sauces, herbs, vegetables and meats and enjoy a hearty meal. Italian recipes are the best choice for family get-together and hang-out time with friends because they can be ready ASAP and the variety is a killer, can you believe 400 types of cheese and 600 shapes of pasta exist in Italian cuisine? Imagine how numerous and various this cuisine can be. Therefore, food list in Italy has no ending!
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The name of this dish comes from an Italian word “riavvolgere” meaning “to wrap.” The first time this dish became known was in 14th century. There is an old recipe for ravioli including green herbs, fresh cheese, and egg, and then boiled gently in broth. This recipe is very similar to ravioli that we prepare today.
Ravioli is the perfect choice for vegetarians or people who do not like eating meat. This delicious meal is a main meal, and for choosing the best ravioli you can also try spinach and Ricotta cheese.
Types of Italian Pizza
As Italy is famous for its delicious culinary traditions which contain the popular pizzas, pasta and gelato, it is good to mention that the types of pizzas are also admirable and various as the following:
it is one of the famous Italian pizzas and its ingredients are simple and healthy such as bread, tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese and olive oil, which is often enjoyable for everyone.
is another kind of traditional pizza with basil sauce and Mozzarella cheese, which we suggest do not miss the pleasure of this pizza with local cheese in Italy.
contains tomato sauce, mozzarella, and anchovies.
includes tomato sauce, mozzarella, capers, anchovies, olives.
has the ingredients of tomato sauce, mozzarella, and pieces of smoked, cured ham. Because the pieces of cured ham are especial ingredient in South Tirol, the name of this pizza is Tirolese.
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Types of Italian Pasta
It’s worth knowing that in the most Italian dishes there is a trace of pasta that people commonly use it throughout Italy in different shapes and colors. Different colors of pasta include ingredients such as egg yolk, spinach, tomatoes; the essence of the octopus (black). Generally, Italians cook pasta with a variety of sauces, such as slices of beef, pork, vegetables, mushrooms and other things. We recommend you to cook it enthusiastically and try authentic Italian cuisine.
There are many varieties of pasta with different shapes and names. That is to say, some types of pasta are known in specific regions which are not widely known. The reason behind this endless variety is that manufacturers and chefs often create new shapes of pasta, or may rename existing ones for marketing reasons.
Each type of pasta has its own unique usage. For instance, Penne and Fusilli can hold more sauces due to their hollow shapes in comparison with other types of pasta such as spaghetti. Additionally, the choice of pasta is dependent on thickness of the sauces in the cooking process.
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Some types of pasta are as follows:
Long and medium-length pasta like: Bigoli, Bucatini, capellini, Pici, Spaghetti
Flat or ribbon-cut pasta such as: Lasagna, Fettuccine, Fileja, Sagnette
Short-cut extruded pasta like: Anelli, Chifferi, Mezze maniche
Decorative-cut pasta: Boccoli, Castellane, Creste di galli, Gnocchi,
Miniature pasta: Conchigliette, Grattini, Sorprese, Tripolini
Pasta with filling: Caramelle, Culurgiones, Lumache
Types of Italian Lasagna
It comes from Ancient Greece. To clarify, the name Lasagna stands for the Greek word ‘Laganon‘. In short, it contains the layers of pasta and sauce. And it has many variations like Vegetarian, Eggplant, Zucchini, Chicken, Meat, Spinach, sausage and many others which rely on the special ingredients. One example is homemade Italian lasagna containing with homemade sauce, and filled with lots of ricotta cheese, and sausage, serving it with crusty Italian bread.
Types of Italian Desserts
Italian desserts are well-known Specialty in the history of the world. Any cook who is keen on preparing delicious desserts will recommend you to try Italian dessert recipes. Typically, they serve fresh fruits, cheese, cream and sugar. But it is good to know that in Italian tradition, they do not add a lot of sugar. As a result, they had healthier recipes. In Italy, serving desserts are commonly for especial occasions for example: Easter, and Christmas; however, in other countries desserts are considered a pleasure after the main meal.
The main feature of Italian desserts that makes them so especial is the fresh ingredients, like cream, cheese, chocolate, fruits, nuts, spicy flavor, eggs, honey and sweet bread.
Italian desserts have many specialties like nougat confection. Its ingredients are egg whites, nuts, and honey and it is common in religious ceremonies and well-known in Mediterranean regions. The list of some of the nice choices of Italian desserts is as below:
Wine cookies, Sandwich Cookies, Mocha Almond Biscotti, Strawberry and Soft Italian Cookies, Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies, and Canestrelli, etc.
Especial note about Gelato which is one of the Specialties of Italian Cuisine in History. It is a bit milder than the ice cream. it contains biscuits, Fruits, and Nuts. If you are interested in the history of ice cream, you can visit the Ice Cream Museum in Carpigiani, located in Anzola dell Emilia.
Above all, the art of pastry in Italy is dependent on the chefs who renew their skills in culinary arts and pastry. So many variations are yet to come.
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Every meal in Italy usually accompanies bread. The root of the idea is in Roman Times when the ancient tools used for the purpose of baking bread. Most importantly, by improving milling techniques, the Romans could produce flour out of wheat for the first time to bake white bread.
Italians believe in high standards in baking all types of bread. It is crucially important for them; in fact, they are famous for allocating their time on preparing the right crusty bread. They believe that the bread should be soft and moist inside so that the bread absorbs enough topping. You could enjoy it more, ideal toppings are: olive oil, vinegar, and tomatoes.
Types of Italian Bread
To get familiar with the types of Italian bread, we recommend you to keep reading this article and notice some types below:
Cecìna : it is a kind of flatbread from Tuscany. Usually used in Pizza, its ingredients are batter, olive oil, and garbanzo flour. You should also add some Sea salt, black pepper, and rosemary to flavor it with a better taste.
Colomba Pasquale : it`s a traditional Easter bread made of yeast, butter, flour, sugar, and eggs. It looks like a dove and decorated with almonds, the result is well-textured loaves of bread as well as light.
Fragguno : this bread is also for Easter holiday. you can fill Fragguno with eggs, salami, and cheese.
Grissini : crunchy breadsticks you can use as appetizer with sliced ham. This kind of bread is very easy to be flavorful before baking with herbs, cheese, parmesan, seeds.
Penia : it`s a kind of Easter bread originally from rural parts of Italy. Its ingredients are sugar, butter and eggs, anise seeds and lemon.
Bruschetta: Bruschetta is delicious bread with the ingredients of local bread, tomatoes, basil, mushrooms, garlic and it is a great choice for meal.
Focaccia : It is one of the most delicious Breads in Italy that you can include it in your appetizer. Focaccia is thin bread and a mixture of flour, sour dough, water, salt, olive oil. you can cook it on oven. This delicious bread is often with caramelized onions, vegetables such as garlic, basil and tomatoes, Parmesan cheese. Remember to eat this appetizing bread in your meals.