Italian cuisine dates back to 4 B.C., like many cuisines in Europe. Today, Italy has about twenty distinct regions with unique local recipes and dietary preferences. Although foreign cooking techniques have influenced these thriving traditions, the Italian culinary culture has retained much of its diversity.
Custom Culinary describes the captivating experience: “the color, flavors, and aroma experienced while traveling the vineyards, visiting the open markets are enchanting.”
Many of the dishes have the same names, but have various ways of preparation, and one hometown would claim superior to those surrounding it. As technology brings the world closer, the lines between these regions progressively blur out.
Back to Basics: Pasta, Pizza, and Bread
When we think about Italian food, the first thing that comes to mind is pizza, quickly followed by pasta. Once only served in Naples, pizza is now all over the country. Some areas in Northern Italy consume rice as stable starches, but pasta remains dominant throughout Italy. Dried pasta is most popular in the south, while fresh pasta, made with eggs and soft flour, is found in the north.
Another shared favorite across the country is bread. But true to the Italian nature, there are as many types of bread as there are regions. In Tuscany, they eat saltless pane toscano plain or seasoned with garlic and olive oil.
In Alto Adige, they use course rye flour to make dense bread, while Turin is known for their crisp bread sticks and Sardinia for their thin brittle bread called carta da musica.
The Common Denominator
The dishes mentioned have one thing in common other than their names: their high-quality ingredients. Italians are known for the simplicity of their dishes, made with quality rather than quantity. This way, each flavor can shine through. Another advantage of Italian cuisine is that the majority of the recipes are easy to prepare, making it an international favorite.
The good news is you don’t have to be in Italy to experience the essence and spirit of Italian flavors. Italian food is everywhere, reaching out to different parts of the world in delightfully surprising ways.