Italian cuisine is one of the sub-branches of Mediterranean cuisine and includes ingredients, recipes and cooking techniques that have been prevalent in the Italian peninsula since ancient times and have been exported to the whole world with the wave of Italian immigration. Italian cuisine is known for its regional diversity, especially between the north and south of the Italian peninsula, and includes a wide range of flavors. Italian cuisine is very popular in the world and has been copied in many places and has influenced the cuisine of different nations, especially American cuisine.
The first thing anyone should know about Italian food is that it’s prepared fresh every day; this makes the difference from other cuisines which taste even better when they’re not exactly fresh. The preparation of traditional dishes starts with using quality ingredients such as sea salt or extra virgin olive oil to bring out their flavors. Italian cuisine is characterized by its simplicity, in many dishes only two to four main ingredients are used. Generally, the steps of food preparation are not detailed and laborious. From the point of view of the Italian chef, the priority is the quality of the ingredients. Raw materials and foods have differences depending on the region. Many foods that were once indigenous to a region have now, with variations, spread across the country.
The best Italian restaurant will also offer some dishes which can be served as either an appetizer or a main course – giving diners more flexibility in how they would like to order their meal. Italians are known for combining sweet with savoury flavours in an amazingly delicious way! One example is tiramisu which has layers of ladyfingers soaked in coffee mixed with mascarpone cheese and cocoa powder on top. The dish not only tastes great but its presentation makes it seem almost too good to eat!
Italian food is an art, which is why Italians are considered “artists” and not “cooks.” In Italy, cooks have the same reputation as painters in France or actors in Hollywood. Cooking means passion for good taste and a series of scientific measurements to reach that goal.
History of Italian cuisine
Italian cuisine has developed over centuries. It can be claimed that the roots of Italian cooking can be traced back to the fourth century BC. As can be seen from the cooking book (Apicius), which dates back to the first century BC, food and culture were very important at that time. Italian cuisine has evolved over centuries of social and political change. The origin of Italian cuisine is from Etruscan cuisine, ancient Greece and ancient Rome. The Romans employed Greek bakers to make bread and imported cheese from Sicily, as the Sicilians were skilled cheese-makers. The Romans raised goats and planted artichokes and leeks. Pizza and spaghetti, both with Neapolitan culinary traditions, are very popular abroad.
What is considered Italian Food?
When you want Italian food, then there are two different types that are most popular – traditional and modern. The difference between these is huge because of what each includes. Traditional cuisine focuses on classic dishes such as spaghetti bolognese or lasagne while modern dishes use influences from all over the world which gives them a completely unique taste. Italian cuisine has a lot going for it. It’s tasty, authentic and believe it or not, healthy! What’s not to love? Italian food is varied and balances fresh, healthy ingredients with indulgent treats such as pasta, pizza and desserts. The delicious combinations of simple flavours speak volumes about how well Italians know their cuisine: it truly transcends borders and cultures. Italian food is an art, which is why Italians are considered “artists” and not “cooks.” In Italy, cooks have the same reputation as painters in France or actors in Hollywood. Cooking means passion for good taste and a series of scientific measurements to reach that goal.
Structure of meals
Every Italian meal traditionally consists of four or five courses. For Italians, meals, especially on weekends, are a place to spend time with family and friends; therefore, they spend more time eating than other cultures. During holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Eve and celebrations, a meal may take hours. Today, the full meal (which includes all four or five courses) is often reserved for special occasions such as weddings, and the everyday meal consists of only the first or second course (or sometimes both), served with side dishes and coffee. A primo (first course) is usually a hearty dish such as risotto or pasta served with a meat, vegetable or seafood sauce. Pieces of meat such as sausage, meatballs, or chicken are eaten in the second course. In Italian cooking, there is also a course dish (Piatto unico), which is a combination of starch and protein. Vegetables and starch are served on a separate plate and unlike the Northern European custom, they are not placed next to the meat.