Italian Gastronomy: The Diversity in Regional Cooking
There is a whole rich variety in Italian gastronomy. It is not just the cheese that the Italians have introduced to the world, their cuisines and wines are famous across multiple locations too. Starting from rich tomato dishes to seafood, and heavy cheese risotto dishes, everybody just falls in love with the food. Each region in Italy has its own special cuisine. For example, in Milan, it is a norm to season a dish with saffron and in Sicily, it is a norm to use spicy Pepperoncino in dishes.
Italian cuisine dates back to the 4th B.C. Lots of internationally favored cooking techniques and foods are now a part of the traditional Italian dishes. Nevertheless, foreigners are still amazed by the assortment when they travel from one region to another. Italians always insist on cooking from home.
There was a time when Naples was the only region that made Pizzas but now they are found across the country. Olive oil is dominant in most of the southern Italian dishes but in the North, butter is preferred. However, as now the Mediterranean diet is becoming a population olive oil is replacing butter.
Some areas of Northern Italy prefer to use polenta as well as rice for cooking but generally, pasta is loved throughout the country. Dried pasta (hard wheat) is found in the South whereas the North is known for freshly-made pasta with flour and eggs.
Bread is another famous Italian food. You will be surprised to know that there is a huge variety of bread in Italy. The famous salt-less pane Toscana is enjoyed in Tuscany with seasoned garlic and olive oil. It is also used in Panzanella, a vegetable soup, and some other recipes. Grissini, Carta-Da-Musica, and speck are some other famous bread types.
It’s salt-cured meat that is made in different styles in different regions. Pork is the preferred meat in Italy. Hams, prosciutto and sausages, all are made from Pork.
How can we forget about cheese? Over 450 different types of cheese are produced in Italy and they are exported to various parts of the world. Parmigiano Reggiano which is grainy cheese is loved by tourists. Locals like to eat their cheese by hand in combination with fruits and drinks. If you really want to have the taste of real Italian cheese, it is best to visit the country. Much of the good stuff is too delicate for export.
Just like cheese, Italian cuisine has so many desserts. Fresh fruits desserts at their best are made in Emilia Romagna whereas Sicily is famous for Marzipan and Ricotta desserts. Wine-poached Apples and pears are loved by most people. If you want to try exotic baked desserts, Tuscan is the best place to be. Lombardia makes the best bread pudding called Miascia and Christmas bread called Panettone.
Regional cooking no doubt is diverse but one thing common in all is that they prefer using high-quality ingredients only. Each recipe has four or fewer ingredients. Italians cook food with elegance and simplicity.