“Pizza, pasta and mandolino”: that’s probably the most common stereotype about Italy. Just like every commonplace that’s quite reductive, as Italy is maybe the country with the richest culinary tradition in the world.
Italians can be proud of their huge variety of products and recipes that have made the history of their country and contributed to create a well defined identity. Actually, when we talk about food in Italy, we’re not just referring to the satisfaction of a primary need, but to something deeper.
In Italy you don’t eat to just feed yourself, but you taste food in all his aspects, you enjoy sitting around a table sharing your meal with your family or friends, you take your time to really appreciate flavours. Maybe this aspect has contributed to make Italian food one of the most admired and imitated all over the world –of course, in addition to its undeniable deliciousness.
If we tried to mention every single piece of Italian food it would probably take a week, but we can have a look at a few of them, probably the best known in the world.
Let’s start with pasta, a foundation of Italian cuisine. Most Italians eat it every day, especially at lunch, and cook it in lots of ways: “pastasciutta”, in soup or pasta salads. Do you have any idea of how much pasta shapes you can find in restaurants and supermarkets? A lot, and not only spaghetti: have you ever heard about “pennette”, “fusilli”or “farfalle”, just to mention a few of them?
One of the other top symbols of Italian cuisine is pizza. It’s true, you can find it everywhere, but to really enjoy its original recipe you should have it done by an Italian who cooks it in a wood oven . Pizza was born in Naples, but it spread throughout the country and beyond it. Italians are very demanding when they ask for a pizza: it has to be prepared with top quality ingredients, from flour to tomato, from mozzarella to olive oil. You probably know “margherita” and “marinara”, the most famous pizzas, but in Italy you can taste lots and lots of varieties.
Now let’s talk about the relationship that Italians have with coffee. When they wake up in the morning, in most cases they feel like they can’t really start their day until they don’t sip a strong espresso. Coffee, indeed, is Italians’ favourite drink, but they want it to be concentrated and not too watery. Italians don’t drink espresso only in the morning, but it’s a ritual that they repeat along the day and, most important, it’s the best way to accompany a chat with a good friend or to enjoy some minute of relax on one’s own.
Those who love desserts cannot resist a good tiramisù, that delicious sweet made of cookies soaked in coffee and covered with mascarpone cheese, cream and a sprinkle of cocoa. It has a delicate yet full flavour that will satisfy your taste, but also your heart: you feel so good after eating it!
To end this brief introduction to some of the protagonists of Italian food, we can’t forget to mention another delicious dessert: gelato. Unlike industrial ice cream, artisanal gelato is made with a smaller amount of sugar and fat and contains more healthy ingredients. Indeed, gelato can be considered an healthy food as it contains vitamins and important nutritional elements, especially when it’s prepared with fresh fruit. Gelato can be consumed as a dessert or as a snack: it will also boost your mood when you feel down!
We guess this quick journey through the main symbols of Italian food made you drool. Are we right?