Italian cuisine

Italian cuisine

Italian cuisineWhenever people think of Italian cuisine, the first that comes to mind is pasta and pizza. However, Italian cuisine has so much more to offer than just pasta and pizza. The use of fresh vegetables, olive oil and fish makes the Italian cuisine one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. This article will address the history of Italian cuisine, and talk about some of the main dishes of this cuisine.

History

Italian cuisine has developed a lot over the centuries. Interestingly, the state Italy only united around the 19th century. However, its cuisine has been around for many years. The roots of Italian cuisine can be traced back as far as the 4th century BC. Food has always played a very important role in the culture of Italy. One of the first cookbooks which was written indicates and describes the important of food in Italy. This first cookbook dates back to the first century BC. The Italian cuisine has been influenced by many different factors. For example, neighbouring regions, high-profile chefs and the political upheaval have all played a role in the development of the Italian cuisine. Another important factor which has influenced the development of the Italian cuisine is the discovery of the New World. During the Roman Empire was when the Italian cuisine was starting to develop. However, it was actually only after the fall of the Roman Empire that Italian food was starting to be formed. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the many different regions in Italy started to develop their own traditional culinary dishes. Each region is now known for having a particular dish. Moreover, the period after the fall of the Roman Empire has led to the development of many different types of pasta and bread. Also, many different preparation and cooking techniques were developed after the fall of the Roman Empire. Thus, the different types of food clearly indicate that the country was split. Each region in Italy is now known for their particular dish. For example, the central part of Italy is known for its tortellini. This is the part of Italy which is known as Bologna. The north of the country, particularly Milan, is known for its famous risottos. Thus, if you visit this part of the country, you will most likely see that risotto plays an important role in people’s everyday diet. The south of Italy, also known as Naples, is known for its pizza. Thus, pizza is not a common type of food which is eaten all over Italy.

Food writer

The first person to write about Italian cuisine was Archestratus. Interestingly, he was a Greek Sicilian who originally came from Syracuse. He wrote his first book about the Italian kitchen around the 4th century BC. The first text he wrote was a poem about Italian food. He talks about the great quality and seasonal ingredients which are used in the Italian cuisine. In his book, he states that it is not necessary for flavours to be masked by different spices and herbs. Instead, he recommends that food should be eaten as it comes out of the ground without too many seasonings and flavourings. Moreover, in his book he especially emphasized the importance of consuming fish on a regular basis. The simplicity of the Italian cuisine was replaced by a culture which featured gastronomy during the time of the Roman Empire. When the Roman Empire was developing, more simple Italian dishes were replaced with new dishes. During this time a new cookbook was developed which contained more than 400 different recipes. A common characteristic of all these dishes is that were all prepared using a lot of herbs and spices. When the Romans were ruling the country, they employed bakers from Greek who would produce different types of bread. They also imported cheeses from Sicily. During this time, Sicily had a good reputation as cheese-makers. The Romans also grew different types of vegetables. Some of the vegetables include artichokes and leeks. They also reared goats.

Main ingredients

The Italian cuisine is known for using many different vegetables. Besides the many vegetables which are used, fruits and meats are also commonly used. As mentioned before, each region in Italy has a set of ingredients which are commonly used. In the north of the country, you will find that it is common to use fish, rice, sausages and potatoes. Other ingredients which are also commonly used in the North are corn and many different types of cheese. In this region of the country you will also find that many dishes are many of stuffed pasta, risotto and polenta. Polenta is not commonly used in other parts of the world. Polenta is a dish which is made from maize flour. In Liguria, an ingredient which plays an important role is basil. Basil is one of the key ingredients to make pesto, which is a sauce which is used throughout the country. In the part of the country which is called Emilia-Romagna, Parmezan cheese, tomatoes and ham are ingredients which are famous. Tomatoes in this region are used in ragu or in Bolognese sauce. The central region of Italy is known for using a wide variety of pecorino cheese, fish and meat. In Tuscany, pasta is often served with a sauce that contains meat. For example, Bolognese sauce is probably the most commonly used meat sauce. In the south of Italy, capers, zucchini, ricotta cheese and artichokes are often used to prepare a wide variety of dishes. In this region, they use specific type of fish. These include tuna, anchovies and sardines. One thing, the Italian cuisine is particularly known for is pasta. Italians use different types of pasta. These types of pasta range in widths, shapes and lengths. Some types of pasta are linguine, penne, spaghetti, fusilli and lasagne. Later in this article, we will address the different types of pasta which are used in Italy, and also in many other parts of the world.


Herbs and seasonings

While Archestratus emphasized the use of fresh vegetables, nowadays the Italian cuisine works with various herbs and seasonings. This is not a problem, since many spices and herbs have a positive influence on the body when consumed in moderation. However, spices do not dominate the Italian kitchen since the favour of fresh ingredients is still considered to be the best flavour. The spices and herbs which are used in the Italian kitchen are added to highlight some flavours, but are not used to dominate the entire dish. Some of these spices include oregano, rosemary, basil and parsley. Other seasonings which are used to add some extra flavour to vegetables, meat of fish include rock salt and fresh pepper. Vinegar is also commonly used in the Italian kitchen. Especially balsamic vinegar is incredibly popular. Balsamic vinegar is also used in many different parts of the world. It is usually used in combination with olive oil as a dressing for salads. It is also possible to have balsamic vinegar together with toasted bread. Other foods which are used to enhance the flavour of certain dishes include capers, olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Wine and lemon juice are also used as enhancers of flavour. Olive oil is probably one of the most popular types of oil which is used in the Mediterranean region. Olive oil is usually added at the end of the cooking process. It is then added to a pasta sauce, soups or stews.

Meal structure

Italians are known for having a particular meal structure. Generally speaking, most countries start with an appetizer, followed by a main course and then dessert. However, in Italy there are many other stages in between these courses. Usually a meal consists of four courses. In the weekend, on the other hand, these meals tend to last much longer and there are a few extra courses. Meals are considered to be a way to spend time with friends and family. Thus, it is not seen as simply sustenance. Especially during special occasions such as New Year’s Eve and Chrisman, a meal can take more than four hours. The first course is called Aperitivo. This course is consumed before having a large meal. This course can be Prosecco, Aperol, Spritz or Vermouth. This course it then followed by an Antipasto. This course literally translates into “before the meal”. It can be served as a hot or cold appetizer. The Antipasto is then followed by Primo. Primo consists of a hot dish. This can be gnocchi, soup or pasta. Secondo is considered to be the main dish. This dish is usually a meal which contains meat or fish. The most commonly types of meat served are pork, veal or chicken. You will find that fish is often served in the south of the country. Secondo is then followed by Contorno. This dish is a side dish. This dish often consists of cooked vegetables or a salad. After this side dish will be fruits and cheese. This is seen as the first dessert. After you have had cheese and fruits, you will have sweet dessert which is also known as Dolce. Dolce is as sweet dessert such as cookies or cakes. A commonly served dessert is Tiramisu. Dolce is followed by a cup of coffee. Italians are known for their espresso. They usually have multiple cups of espresso per day. The last course is called Digestivo. Digestivo is usually a liquor. The different types of liquors are also referred to as “ammazzacaffe”. This translates into “coffee killer”.

Different types of pasta

As mentioned, one of the most popular dishes in Italy is pasta. Pasta can be categorized in two basic styles. You can use fresh or dried pasta, depending on your personal preference. Dried pasta which is made without using eggs can be stored up to two year when it is stored under the right conditions. Fresh pasta, on the other hand, will only last for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Pasta is cooked by boiling it. In the north of Italy, fresh pasta with the use of eggs is preferred over dried pasta. In the south of the country, the opposite is true. Here dried pasta is preferred. There are many different types of pasta. One of the most common types of pasta is penne. Penne are a tubular pasta which has cut ends. You will be able to find this type of pasta either with ridges or smooth. This type of pasta is often used in pasta salads or in pasta baked. Another type of pasta which is known all over the world is spaghetti. This type of pasta is a long and thin type of pasta. Spaghetti can be served with a wide range of different sauces. However, it is most commonly served with a tomato sauce. Cannelloni are also a type of pasta which are well-known. Cannelloni are large tubes of pasta. These tubes are often stuffed with a filling made of vegetables, tomatoes and meat. This type of pasta is then baked. You will also see many variations of cannelloni which use ricotta as its filling.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 781x
Added: 15-02-2017 18:21
Last modified: 15-05-2017 16:48

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