Cucina italiana The most popular specialties of Italian cuisine

Jul 17, 2019 House

Cucina italiana The most popular specialties of Italian cuisine

The name “Italian cuisine” has lost some of its prestige over the years. All thanks to European restaurants, whose menu is closer to the roadside restaurant with fast food, than the menu in the exquisite and climatic ristorante. Is Italian cuisine really just pizza, pesto and spaghetti? Going on a culinary journey through the land famous for its aromatic and simple dishes, we will learn that our concept of cucina italiana is just the tip of the iceberg of undiscovered flavor compositions.
Italy is divided into 20 regions, which are also administrative units. The cuisine of each of them is different not only because of the different traditions and recipes. At the base of large discrepancies in Italian flavors is also a rich flora and fauna of the Apennine Peninsula, which is over 1000 km long and abounds in both subtropical, temperate and mountain climate. Therefore, exploring the secrets of Italian cuisine, you can discover that it is not only simplicity that lies at its root, and the love for pure, regional products, which only in their homeland can get the fullest flavor and aroma.
Island specialties
The biggest island, not only of Italy, but of the whole Mediterranean Sea, is Sicily. Both its geographical location and historical history have made Sicilian cuisine permeated with Greek, Spanish, French and even Arabic flavors. Sicily’s menu includes a huge amount of seafood, as well as pasta, most often served with aubergine and tomato sauces. In addition, the delicious local sweets deserve special attention. These include cannoli cakes, stuffed with ricotta and candied fruit, frozen granite, coffee or fruit, as well as real gelato, ideal for cooling on the hottest days.
Another notable island is Sardinia, which differs from the rest of Italy in both landscape and cuisine. Most dishes are prepared with the addition of meat – mutton, pork, goat, lamb. The island also has a very lively tradition of baking homemade bread. Characteristic of the region is the flat and crispy carasau panel bread. A local speciality is also semolina dumplings, similar in appearance to the classic gnocchi. Sardinian ravioli, on the other hand, are stuffed with substantial additives such as potatoes and lard.
Italian classics
The region that is immediately associated with Italy is Tuscany. It is Tuscany’s trademark that is its simple but very creative taste compositions. While visiting the picturesque western coast, it is obligatory to taste bread soup (ribollita) with cabbage, beans, olive oil and… stale bread. Another surprisingly simple duo is the pinzimonio, i.e. nothing more than a plate of vegetables with bread, diversified with garlic and olive oil. Tuscan baked goods also include yeast foccacia, which is becoming more and more common in the USA, in the form of an addition to soups and salads.
The second flagship region of Italy, adjacent to Tuscany, is Emilia-Romagna, whose capital city is Bologna. – It is from Tuscany that the world-famous Modena balsamic vinegar comes from, which is a perfect complement to cold served dishes, especially salads and antipasti such as bruschetta and carpaccio, which taste delicious not only in the company of hard cheeses, but also in the company of maturing cheeses. The most important specialties of this region are also the world-famous Parma ham and the original Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano).
Heights of taste
Slightly different flavours to offer have Italian mountains. In neighbouring Trentino, Austria, you can enjoy the influence of Germanic cuisine, which is rich in potato dishes, noodles, gnocchi and meat dishes. A very unusual addition to Italian cuisine is also sauerkraut, which is also present in Trentino cuisine, as well as bread, seasoned with caraway seeds or fenugreek. Also prepared from corn groats, polenta has its origins in the mountainous areas of northern Italy. Bordering both France and Switzerland, Piedmont is a tasty fusion of Italian and French cuisines that will satisfy the palates of sophisticated gourmets. The menu, dominated by meat specialties, is tempting, above all, with its distinctive aromas, including garlic, capers, parsley and anchovies. Piedmont is also a land famous for prepared on the basis of risotto rice, often served in the exquisite company of truffles, which are not found anywhere else in Italy.
It is also worth noting that in Italy the hierarchy of meals is exactly the opposite of what is usually presented as a model subordination of the size of the portion to the time of day. After a modest breakfast, consisting of a cup of strong espresso and a small cake or bun, it’s time for lunch at noon, which is a good time to have a good meal.