Italian cuisine is food typical from Italy. It has developed through
centuries of social and economic changes, with roots stretching to
Significant changes occurred with the discovery of the
New World and
the introduction of potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, maize and sugar
beet, this last introduced in quantity in the 18th century.
Italian cuisine is known for its regional diversity, especially
between the north and the south of the Italian peninsula. It
offers an abundance of taste, and is one of the most popular and
copied in the world. It influenced several cuisines around the
world chiefly that of the United States.
Italian cuisine is generally characterized by its simplicity, with
many dishes having only two to four main ingredients. Italian cooks
rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on
elaborate preparation. Ingredients and dishes vary by region. Many
dishes that were once regional, have proliferated with variations
throughout the country.
1.2 Middle Ages
1.3 Early modern era
1.4 Modern era
3 Regional variation
Abruzzo and Molise
3.6 Friuli-Venezia Giulia
3.12 Puglia (Apulia)
3.15 Trentino-Alto Adige
3.18 Valle d'Aosta
4 Meal structure
5 Food establishments
6.2 Alcoholic beverages
8 Holiday cuisine
9.1.2 South Africa
9.2.2 Great Britain
9.3 North and Central America
9.3.1 Canada and the USA
9.4 South America
10 See also
13 Further reading
14 External links
Italian cuisine has developed over the centuries. Although the country
Italy did not unite until the 19th century, the cuisine can
claim traceable roots as far back as the 4th century BCE. Food and
culture was very important at that time as we can see from the
cookbook (Apicius) which dates back to first century BC. Through
the centuries, neighbouring regions, conquerors, high-profile chefs,
political upheaval and the discovery of the
New World have influenced
its development. Italian food started to form after the fall of the
Roman Empire, when different cities began to separate and form their
own traditions. Many different types of bread and pasta were made, and
there was a variation in cooking techniques and preparation. The
country was split.
Regional cuisine is represented by some of the
major cities in Italy. For example,
Milan (north of Italy) is known
for its risottos,
Bologna (the central/middle of the country) is known
for its tortellini and
Naples (the south) is famous for its pizzas
Ancient Roman cuisine
Ancient Roman cuisine and Food and dining in the Roman
The first known Italian food writer was a Greek Sicilian named
Archestratus from Syracuse in the 4th century BCE. He wrote a poem
that spoke of using "top quality and seasonal" ingredients. He said
that flavors should not be masked by spices, herbs or other
seasonings. He placed importance on simple preparation of fish.
Simplicity was abandoned and replaced by a culture of gastronomy as
Roman Empire developed. By the time
De re coquinaria
De re coquinaria was published
in the 1st century CE, it contained 470 recipes calling for heavy use
of spices and herbs. The Romans employed Greek bakers to produce
breads and imported cheeses from
Sicily as the Sicilians had a
reputation as the best cheesemakers. The Romans reared goats for
butchering, and grew artichokes and leeks.
See also: Medieval cuisine
A restored medieval kitchen inside Verrucole Castle, Tuscany.
With culinary traditions from
Rome and Athens, a cuisine developed in
Sicily that some consider the first real Italian cuisine.[citation
needed] Arabs invaded
Sicily in the 9th century, introducing spinach,
almonds, and rice. During the 12th century, a Norman king surveyed
Sicily and saw people making long strings made from flour and water
called atriya, which eventually became trii, a term still used for
spaghetti in southern Italy.
Normans also introduced casseroles,
salt cod (baccalà) and stockfish, which remain popular.
Food preservation was either chemical or physical, as refrigeration
did not exist. Meats and fish would be smoked, dried or kept on ice.
Brine and salt were used to pickle items such as herring, and to cure
pork. Root vegetables were preserved in brine after they had been
parboiled. Other means of preservation included oil, vinegar or
immersing meat in congealed, rendered fat. For preserving fruits,
liquor, honey and sugar were used.
The northern Italian regions show a mix of Germanic
and Roman culture while the south reflects Arab
influence, as much
Mediterranean cuisine was spread by
The oldest Italian book on cuisine is the 13th century Liber de
coquina written in Naples. Dishes include "Roman-style" cabbage (ad
usum romanorum), ad usum campanie which were "small leaves" prepared
in the "Campanian manner", a bean dish from the Marca di Trevisio, a
torta, compositum londardicum which are similar to dishes prepared
today. Two other books from the 14th century include recipes for Roman
pastello, Lasagna pie, and call for the use of salt from
Saffron has been used in
Italy for centuries
In the 15th century,
Maestro Martino was chef to the Patriarch of
Aquileia at the Vatican. His Libro de arte coquinaria describes a more
refined and elegant cuisine. His book contains a recipe for Maccaroni
Siciliani, made by wrapping dough around a thin iron rod to dry in the
sun. The macaroni was cooked in capon stock flavored with saffron,
displaying Persian influences. Of particular note is Martino's
avoidance of excessive spices in favor of fresh herbs. The Roman
recipes include coppiette (air-dried salami) and cabbage dishes. His
Florentine dishes include eggs with Bolognese torta, Sienese torta and
Genoese recipes such as piperata (sweets), macaroni, squash,
mushrooms, and spinach pie with onions.
Martino's text was included in a 1475 book by Bartolomeo Platina
De honesta voluptate et valetudine
De honesta voluptate et valetudine ("On
Honest Pleasure and Good Health"). Platina puts Martino's "Libro" in
regional context, writing about perch from Lake Maggiore, sardines
from Lake Garda, grayling from Adda, hens from Padua, olives from
Bologna and Piceno, turbot from Ravenna, rudd from Lake Trasimeno,
carrots from Viterbo, bass from the Tiber, roviglioni and shad from
Lake Albano, snails from Rieti, figs from Tuscolo, grapes from Narni,
oil from Cassino, oranges from
Naples and eels from Campania. Grains
Campania are mentioned as is honey from
Wine from the Ligurian coast, Greco from
Tuscany and San
Tuscany and Piceno are also in the
Early modern era
The courts of Florence, Rome,
Ferrara were central to the
cuisine. Cristoforo di Messisbugo, steward to Ippolito d'Este,
published Banchetti Composizioni di Vivande in 1549. Messisbugo gives
recipes for pies and tarts (containing 124 recipes with various
fillings). The work emphasizes the use of Eastern spices and
Bartolomeo Scappi, personal chef to Pope Pius V
In 1570, Bartolomeo Scappi, personal chef to Pope Pius V, wrote his
Opera in five volumes, giving a comprehensive view of Italian cooking
of that period. It contains over 1,000 recipes, with information on
banquets including displays and menus as well as illustrations of
kitchen and table utensils. This book differs from most books written
for the royal courts in its preference for domestic animals and
courtyard birds rather than game.
Recipes include lesser cuts of meats such as tongue, head and
shoulder. The third volume has recipes for fish in Lent. These fish
recipes are simple, including poaching, broiling, grilling and frying
Particular attention is given to seasons and places where fish should
be caught. The final volume includes pies, tarts, fritters and a
recipe for a sweet
Neapolitan pizza (not the current savory version,
as tomatoes had not been introduced to Italy). However, such items
New World as corn (maize) and turkey are included.
In the first decade of the 17th century, Giangiacomo Castelvetro wrote
Breve Racconto di Tutte le Radici di Tutte l'Herbe et di Tutti i
Frutti (A Brief Account of All Roots, Herbs and Fruit), translated
into English by Gillian Riley. Originally from Modena, Castelvetro
moved to England because he was a Protestant. The book has a list of
Italian vegetables and fruits and their preparation. He featured
vegetables as a central part of the meal, not just accompaniments.
He favored simmering vegetables in salted water and serving them warm
or cold with olive oil, salt, fresh ground pepper, lemon juice or
verjus or orange juice. He also suggests roasting vegetables wrapped
in damp paper over charcoal or embers with a drizzle of olive oil.
Castelvetro's book is separated into seasons with hop shoots in the
spring and truffles in the winter, detailing the use of pigs in the
search for truffles.
L'arte di Ben Cucinare published by Bartolomeo Stefani in 1662
In 1662, Bartolomeo Stefani, chef to the Duchy of Mantua, published
L'Arte di Ben Cucinare. He was the first to offer a section on vitto
ordinario ("ordinary food"). The book described a banquet given by
Duke Charles for Queen Christina of Sweden, with details of the food
and table settings for each guest, including a knife, fork, spoon,
glass, a plate (instead of the bowls more often used) and a
Other books from this time, such as Galatheo by Giovanni della Casa,
tell how scalci ("waiters") should manage themselves while serving
their guests. Waiters should not scratch their heads or other parts of
themselves, or spit, sniff, cough or sneeze while serving diners. The
book also told diners not to use their fingers while eating and not to
wipe sweat with their napkin.
De re coquinaria
De re coquinaria ("On the Subject of Cooking"), 1709 edition.
At the beginning of the 18th century, Italian culinary books began to
emphasize the regionalism of
Italian cuisine rather than French
cuisine. Books written then were no longer addressed to professional
chefs but to bourgeois housewives. Periodicals in booklet form
such as La cuoca cremonese ("The Cook of Cremona") in 1794 give a
sequence of ingredients according to season along with chapters on
meat, fish and vegetables. As the century progressed these books
increased in size, popularity and frequency.
In the 18th century, medical texts warned peasants against eating
refined foods as it was believed that these were poor for their
digestion and their bodies required heavy meals. It was believed by
some that peasants ate poorly because they preferred eating poorly.
However, many peasants had to eat rotten food and moldy bread because
that was all they could afford.
In 1779, Antonio Nebbia from
Macerata in the
Marche region, wrote Il
Cuoco Maceratese ("The Cook of Macerata"). Nebbia addressed the
importance of local vegetables and pasta, rice and gnocchi. For stock,
he preferred vegetables and chicken over other meats.
In 1773, the Neapolitan Vincenzo Corrado's Il Cuoco Galante ("The
Courteous Cook") gave particular emphasis to Vitto Pitagorico
(vegetarian food). "Pythagorean food consists of fresh herbs, roots,
flowers, fruits, seeds and all that is produced in the earth for our
nourishment. It is so called because Pythagoras, as is well known,
only used such produce. There is no doubt that this kind of food
appears to be more natural to man, and the use of meat is noxious."
This book was the first to give the tomato a central role with
Tomatoes are a typical part of Italian cuisine, but only entered
common usage in the late 18th century.
Zuppa alli Pomidoro in Corrado's book is a dish similar to today's
Tuscan pappa al pomodoro. Corrado's 1798 edition introduced a
"Treatise on the Potato" after the French Antoine-Augustin
Parmentier's successful promotion of it. In 1790, Francesco
Leonardi in his book L'Apicio moderno ("Modern Apicius") sketches a
history of the Italian
Cuisine from the Roman Age and gives as first a
recipe of a tomato based sauce.
In the 19th century, Giovanni Vialardi, chef to King Victor Emmanuel,
wrote A Treatise of Modern Cookery and Patisserie with recipes
"suitable for a modest household". Many of his recipes are for
regional dishes from
Turin including twelve for potatoes such as
Genoese Cappon Magro. In 1829, Il Nuovo Cuoco Milanese Economico by
Giovanni Felice Luraschi features Milanese dishes such as Kidney with
Gnocchi alla Romana. Gian Battista and
Giovanni Ratto's La Cucina Genovese in 1871 addressed the cuisine of
Liguria. This book contained the first recipe for pesto. La Cucina
Teorico-Pratica written by Ippolito Cavalcanti has the first recipe
for pasta with tomatoes.
La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiare bene ("The Science of
Cooking and the Art of Eating Well"), by Pellegrino Artusi, first
published in 1891, is widely regarded as the canon of classic modern
Italian cuisine, and it is still in print. Its recipes come mainly
Romagna and Tuscany, where he lived.
Pesto, a Ligurian sauce made out of basil, olive oil and pine nuts,
and which can be eaten with pasta or other dishes such as soup.
Italian cuisine has a great variety of different ingredients which are
commonly used, ranging from fruits, vegetables, sauces, meats, etc. In
the North of Italy, fish (such as cod, or baccalà), potatoes, rice,
corn (maize), sausages, pork, and different types of cheeses are the
most common ingredients.
Pasta dishes with use of tomato are spread in
Italians like their ingredients fresh and subtly
seasoned and spiced.
Italy though there are many kinds of stuffed pasta,
polenta and risotto are equally popular if not more so. Ligurian
ingredients include several types of fish and seafood dishes; basil
(found in pesto), nuts and olive oil are very common. In
Emilia-Romagna, common ingredients include ham (prosciutto), sausage
(cotechino), different sorts of salami, truffles, grana,
Parmigiano-Reggiano, and tomatoes (
Bolognese sauce or ragù).
Olive oil is the most commonly used vegetable fat in Italian cooking,
and as the basis for sauces, often replaces animal fats of butter or
Italian cuisine uses ingredients such as tomatoes,
all kinds of meat, fish, and pecorino cheese. In
(especially pappardelle) is traditionally served with meat sauce
(including game meat). Finally, in Southern Italy, tomatoes –
fresh or cooked into tomato sauce – peppers, olives and olive
oil, garlic, artichokes, oranges, ricotta cheese, eggplants, zucchini,
certain types of fish (anchovies, sardines and tuna), and capers are
important components to the local cuisine.
Italian cuisine is also well known (and well regarded) for its use of
a diverse variety of pasta.
Pasta include noodles in various lengths,
widths and shapes. Distinguished on shapes they are named—penne,
maccheroni, spaghetti, linguine, fusilli, lasagne and many more
varieties that are filled with other ingredients like ravioli and
The word pasta is also used to refer to dishes in which pasta products
are a primary ingredient. It is usually served with sauce. There are
hundreds of different shapes of pasta with at least locally recognized
Examples include spaghetti (thin rods), rigatoni (tubes or cylinders),
fusilli (swirls), and lasagne (sheets). Dumplings, like gnocchi (made
with potatoes or pumpkin) and noodles like spätzle, are sometimes
considered pasta. They are both traditional in parts of Italy.
Pasta is categorized in two basic styles: dried and fresh. Dried pasta
made without eggs can be stored for up to two years under ideal
conditions, while fresh pasta will keep for a couple of days in the
Pasta is generally cooked by boiling. Under Italian law,
dry pasta (pasta secca) can only be made from durum wheat flour or
durum wheat semolina, and is more commonly used in Southern Italy
compared to their Northern counterparts, who traditionally prefer the
fresh egg variety.
Durum flour and durum semolina have a yellow tinge in color. Italian
pasta is traditionally cooked al dente (Italian: firm to the bite,
meaning not too soft). Outside Italy, dry pasta is frequently made
from other types of flour, but this yields a softer product that
cannot be cooked al dente. There are many types of wheat flour with
varying gluten and protein levels depending on variety of grain used.
Particular varieties of pasta may also use other grains and milling
methods to make the flour, as specified by law. Some pasta varieties,
such as pizzoccheri, are made from buckwheat flour. Fresh pasta may
include eggs (pasta all'uovo 'egg pasta'). Whole wheat pasta has
become increasingly popular because of its supposed health benefits
over pasta made from refined flour.
Each area has its own specialties, primarily at a regional level, but
also at provincial level. The differences can come from a bordering
country (such as France or Austria), whether a region is close to the
sea or the mountains, and economics.
Italian cuisine is also
seasonal with priority placed on the use of fresh produce.
Abruzzo and Molise
Cuisine of Abruzzo
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wine labelled as being made from old vines
Pasta, meat and vegetables are central to the cuisine of
Molise. Chili peppers (peperoncini) are typical of Abruzzo, where they
are called diavoletti ("little devils") for their spicy heat. Due to
the long history of shepherding in
Abruzzo and Molise, lamb dishes are
common. Lamb is often used with pasta. Mushrooms (usually wild
mushrooms), rosemary, and garlic are also extensively used in
Best-known is the extra virgin olive oil produced in the local farms
on the hills of the region, marked by the quality level DOP and
considered one of the best in the country. Renowned wines like
Montepulciano DOCG and
Abruzzo DOC are considered amongst
the world’s finest wines. In 2012 a bottle of Trebbiano
Colline Teramane ranked #1 in the top 50 Italian wine
Centerbe ("Hundred Herbs") is a strong (72% alcohol), spicy
herbal liqueur drunk by the locals. Another liqueur is genziana, a
soft distillate of gentian roots.
The best-known dish from
Abruzzo is arrosticini, little pieces of
castrated lamb on a wooden stick and cooked on coals. The chitarra
(literally "guitar") is a fine stringed tool that pasta dough is
pressed through for cutting. In the province of Teramo, famous local
dishes include the virtù soup (made with legumes, vegetables and pork
meat); the timballo (pasta sheets filled with meat, vegetables or
rice); and the mazzarelle (lamb intestines filled with garlic,
marjoram, lettuce, and various spices). The popularity of saffron,
grown in the province of L'Aquila, has waned in recent years. The
most famous dish of
Molise is cavatelli, a long shaped, handmade
maccheroni-type pasta made of flour, semolina and water, often served
with meat sauce, broccoli or mushrooms.
Pizzelle cookies are a common
dessert, especially around Christmas.
Baccalà alla lucana is a traditional dish from Basilicata
The cuisine of
Basilicata is mostly based on inexpensive ingredients
and deeply anchored in rural traditions.
Pork is an integral part of the regional cuisine,
often made into sausages or roasted on a spit. Famous dry sausages
from the region are lucanica and soppressata. Wild boar, mutton and
lamb are also popular.
Pasta sauces are generally based on meats or
vegetables. Spicy peperoncini is largely used, as well as the
so-called "peperoni cruschi" (crunchy peppers). The region
produces cheeses like the
Pecorino di Filiano
Pecorino di Filiano PDO, Canestrato di
Pallone di Gravina
Pallone di Gravina and
Paddraccio and olive oils like
the Vulture PDO.
Basilicata is known for spaghetti-like pasta troccoli and capunti,
a thick and short oval pasta whose shape is often compared to that of
an open empty pea pod. Capunti are usually served with a hearty
vegetable tomato sauce or various meat sauces.
Among the traditional dishes are lagane e ceci, also known as piatto
del brigante (brigand's dish), pasta prepared with chick peas and
peeled tomatoes; rafanata, a type of omelette with horseradish;
ciaudedda, a vegetable stew with artichokes, potatoes, broad beans and
pancetta; and the baccalà alla lucana, one of the few recipes
made with fish. Desserts include taralli dolci, made with sugar glaze
and scented with anise; and calzoncelli, fried pastries filled with a
cream of chestnuts and chocolate.
The most famous wine of the region is the
Aglianico del Vulture
Aglianico del Vulture DOCG,
others include Matera DOC, Terre dell'Alta Val d'Agri and Grottino di
Basilicata is also known for its mineral waters which are sold widely
in Italy. The springs are mostly located in the volcanic basin of the
In Calabria, a history of French rule under the House of Anjou and
Napoleon, along with Spanish influence, affected the language and
culinary skills as seen in the naming of things such as cake, gatò,
from the French gateau. Seafood includes swordfish, shrimp, lobster,
sea urchin and squid. Macaroni-type pasta is widely used in regional
dishes, often served with goat, beef or pork sauce and salty
Main courses include
Frìttuli (prepared by boiling pork rind, meat
and trimmings in pork fat), different varieties of spicy sausages
Nduja and Capicola), goat and land snails.
Melon and watermelon
are traditionally served in a chilled fruit salad or wrapped in
ham. Calabrian wines include Greco di Bianco, Bivongi, Cirò,
Dominici, Lamezia, Melissa, Pollino, Sant'Anna di Isola Capo Rizzuto,
San Vito di Luzzi, Savuto, Scavigna, Verbicaro.
Another famous dish that has a Calabrese background is its famous
Calabrese pizza. This pizza has a Neapolitan-based structure with
fresh tomato sauce and a cheese base. However, what makes this type of
pizza unique from others is its spicy, but rather tasty flavor. Some
of the ingredients included in a Calabrese pizza are: thinly sliced
hot soppressata, hot capicola, hot peppers and fresh mozzarella. A
Calabrese style pizza has become a well known menu item in many
Italian restaurants around the world.
Main article: Neapolitan cuisine
Traditional Neapolitan pizza
Mozzarella di bufala is dairy product traditionally made from buffalo
milk in southern Italy
Campania extensively produces tomatoes, peppers, spring onions,
potatoes, artichokes, fennel, lemons and oranges which all take on the
flavor of volcanic soil. The Gulf of
Naples offers fish and seafood.
Campania is one of the largest producers and consumers of pasta in
Italy, especially spaghetti. In the regional cuisine, pasta is
prepared in various styles that can feature tomato sauce, cheese,
clams and shellfish.
Spaghetti alla puttanesca is a popular dish made with olives,
tomatoes, anchovies, capers, chili peppers and garlic. The region is
well-known also for its mozzarella production (especially from the
milk of water buffalo) that's used in a variety of dishes, including
parmigiana (shallow fried eggplant slices layered with cheese and
tomato sauce, then baked). Desserts include struffoli (deep fried
balls of dough) ricotta-based pastiera and sfogliatelle, and
Originating in Neapolitan cuisine, pizza has become popular in many
different parts of the world.
Pizza is an oven-baked, flat,
disc-shaped bread typically topped with a tomato sauce, cheese
(usually mozzarella) and various toppings depending on the culture.
Since the original pizza, several other types of pizzas have evolved.
Naples was the capital of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, its
cuisine took much from the culinary traditions of all the Campania
region, reaching a balance between dishes based on rural ingredients
(pasta, vegetables, cheese) and seafood dishes (fish, crustaceans,
mollusks). A vast variety of recipes is influenced by the local
aristocratic cuisine, like timballo and the sartù di riso, pasta or
rice dishes with very elaborate preparation, while the dishes coming
from the popular traditions contain inexpensive but nutritionally
healthy ingredients, like pasta with beans and other pasta dishes with
Famous regional wines are
Aglianico (Taurasi), Fiano, Falanghina, and
Greco di Tufo.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is a well-known Italian hard cheese
Romagna is known for its egg and filled pasta made with soft
wheat flour. The
Romagna subregion is known as well for pasta dishes
like cappelletti, garganelli, strozzapreti, sfoglia lorda and tortelli
alla lastra or very peculiar cheese like squacquerone, piada snacks
are famous worldwide.
In the Emilia subregion, except
Piacenza which is heavily influenced
by the cuisines of Lombardy, rice is eaten to a lesser extent.
Polenta, a maize-based dish, is common both in Emilia and Romagna.
Tagliatelle with bolognese sauce
Modena are notable for pasta dishes like tortellini,
lasagne, gramigna and tagliatelle which are found also in many other
parts of the region in different declinations. The celebrated balsamic
vinegar is made only in the Emilian cities of
Modena and Reggio
Emilia, following legally binding traditional procedures.
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is produced in Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena
Bologna and is much used in cooking, while
Grana Padano variety is
produced in Piacenza.
Adriatic coast is a major fishing area (well known for
its eels and clams), the region is more famous for its meat products,
especially pork-based, that include: Parma's prosciutto, culatello and
Felino salami, Piacenza's pancetta, coppa and salami, Bologna's
mortadella and salame rosa, Modena's zampone, cotechino and cappello
del prete and Ferrara's salama da sugo.
Piacenza is also known for
some dishes prepared with horse and donkey meat. Regional desserts
include zuppa inglese (custard-based dessert made with sponge cake and
Alchermes liqueur) and panpepato (Christmas cake made with pepper,
chocolate, spices, and almonds).
Jota is a traditional stew in the Venezia Giulia region
Friuli-Venezia Giulia conserved, in its cuisine, the historical links
with Austria-Hungary. Udine and Pordenone, in the western part of
Friuli, are known for their traditional
San Daniele del Friuli
San Daniele del Friuli ham,
Montasio cheese, and
Frico cheese. Other typical dishes are pitina
(meatballs made of smoked meats), game, and various types of gnocchi
The majority of the eastern regional dishes are heavily influenced by
Austrian, Hungarian, Slovene and Croatian cuisines: typical dishes
Istrian Stew (soup of beans, sauerkraut, potatoes, bacon and
spare ribs), Vienna sausages, goulash, ćevapi, apple strudel,
Pork can be spicy and is often prepared over an open hearth
called a fogolar. Collio Goriziano,
Friuli Isonzo, Colli Orientali del
Ramandolo are well-known DOC regional wines.
Focaccia with Rosemary.
Focaccia is widely associated with Ligurian
Liguria is known for herbs and vegetables (as well as seafood) in its
cuisine. Savory pies are popular, mixing greens and artichokes along
with cheeses, milk curds and eggs. Onions and olive oil are used.
Because of a lack of land suitable for wheat, the Ligurians use
chickpeas in farinata and polenta-like panissa. The former is served
plain or topped with onions, artichokes, sausage, cheese or young
Hilly districts use chestnuts as a source of carbohydrates. Ligurian
pastas include corzetti from the Polcevera valley, pansoti, a
triangular shaped ravioli filled with vegetables, piccagge, pasta
ribbons made with a small amount of egg and served with artichoke
sauce or pesto sauce, trenette, made from whole wheat flour cut into
long strips and served with pesto, boiled beans and potatoes, and
trofie, a Ligurian gnocchi made from whole grain flour and boiled
potatoes, made into a spiral shape and often tossed in pesto. Many
Ligurians emigrated to
Argentina in the late 19th and early 20th
centuries, influencing the cuisine of this country (which otherwise
dominated by meat and dairy products which the narrow Ligurian
hinterland would have not allowed).
Main article: Roman cuisine
Spaghetti alla carbonara
Pasta dishes based on the use of guanciale (unsmoked bacon prepared
with pig's jowl or cheeks) are often found in Lazio, such as pasta
alla carbonara, and pasta all'amatriciana. Another pasta dish of the
region is arrabbiata, with spicy tomato sauce. The regional cuisine
widely use offal, resulting in dishes like the entrail-based rigatoni
with pajata sauce and coda alla vaccinara.
Lazio is cheese made from ewes' milk (Pecorino Romano),
porchetta (savory, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast) and Frascati
white wine. The influence of the ancient
Jewish community can be
noticed in the Roman cuisine's traditional carciofi alla giudia.
Main article: Lombard cuisine
Risotto alla milanese with saffron
The regional cuisine of
Lombardy is heavily based upon ingredients
like maize, rice, beef, pork, butter, and lard.
Rice dishes are very
popular in this region, often found in soups as well as risotto. The
best-known version is risotto alla milanese, flavoured with saffron
and typically served with many typical Milanese main courses, such as
ossobuco alla milanese (cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables,
white wine and broth) and cotoletta alla milanese (a fried cutlet
similar to Wiener schnitzel, but cooked "bone-in").
Other regional specialities include cassoeula (a typical winter dish
prepared with cabbage and pork), Cremona's
Mostarda (rich condiment
made with candied fruit and a mustard flavoured syrup), Valtellina's
Bresaola (air-dried salted beef) and
Pizzoccheri (a flat ribbon pasta,
made with 80% buckwheat flour and 20% wheat flour cooked along with
greens, cubed potatoes and layered with pieces of
cheese) and Mantua's tortelli di zucca (ravioli with pumpkin filling)
accompanied by melted butter and followed by turkey stuffed with
chicken or other stewed meats.
Gorgonzola is a traditional blue cheese
Regional cheeses include Robiola, Crescenza, Taleggio,
Grana Padano (the plains of central and southern
Polenta is generally common across the
region. Regional desserts include the famous panettone Christmas cake
(sweet bread with candied orange, citron, and lemon zest, as well as
raisins, which are added dry and not soaked).
On the coast of Marche, fish and seafood are produced. Inland, wild
and domestic pigs are used for sausages and hams. These hams are not
thinly sliced, but cut into bite-sized chunks. Suckling pig, chicken
and fish are often stuffed with rosemary or fennel fronds and garlic
before being roasted or placed on the spit.
Ascoli, Marche's southernmost province, is well known for Olive
all'ascolana, (stoned olives stuffed with several minced meats, egg
and Parmesan, then fried). Another well-known
Marche product are
the Maccheroncini di Campofilone, from little town of Campofilone, a
kind of hand-made pasta made only of hard grain flour and eggs, cut so
thin that melts in the mouth.
Traditional Piedmontese agnolotti
Alps and the Po valley, with a large number of different
ecosystems, this region offers the most refined and varied cuisine of
the Italian peninsula. Point of union of traditional Italian and
Piedmont is the Italian region with the largest number
Protected Geographical Status
Protected Geographical Status and wines Denominazione di
origine controllata. It is also the region where both Slow Food
association and the most prestigious school of Italian cooking, the
University of Gastronomic Sciences, were founded.
Piedmont is a region where gathering nuts, mushrooms, cardoons and
hunting and fishing takes place. Truffles, garlic, seasonal
vegetables, cheese and rice are all used.
Wines from the Nebbiolo
grape such as
Barbaresco are produced as well as wines from
Barbera grape, fine sparkling wines, and the sweet, lightly
sparkling, Moscato d'Asti. The region is also famous for its Vermouth
Castelmagno is a prized cheese of the region.
Piedmont is also famous
for the quality of its
Carrù beef (particularly famous for its fair
of the "Bue Grasso", Fat Ox), hence the tradition of eating raw meat
seasoned with garlic oil, lemon and salt the famous Carpaccio, the
famous Brasato al vino, wine stew made from marinated beef, and boiled
beef served with various sauces.
The food most typical of the
Piedmont tradition are its traditional
agnolotti (pasta folded over with a roast beef meat and vegetable
Panissa (a typical dish of Vercelli, a kind of risotto with
Arborio rice or
Maratelli rice, the typical kind of
Barbera wine, lard, salami, salt and pepper), taglierini
(thinner version of tagliatelle), bagna cauda (sauce of garlic,
anchovies, olive oil and butter) and bicerin (hot drink made of
coffee, chocolate and whole milk). Finally
Piedmont is one of the
Italian capitals of pastry and chocolate in particular, with products
like Nutella, gianduiotto and marron glacé that are famous
Orecchiette with tomato sauce
Apulia is a massive food producer: major production includes wheat,
tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, bell peppers, potatoes, spinach,
eggplants, cauliflower, fennel, endive, chickpeas, lentils, beans and
cheese (like the traditional caciocavallo cheese).
Apulia is also the
largest producer of olive oil in Italy. The sea offers abundant fish
and seafood that are extensively used in the regional cuisine,
especially oysters, and mussels.
Goat and lamb are occasionally used. The region is known for pasta
made from durum wheat and traditional pasta dishes featuring
orecchiette-type pasta, often served with tomato sauce, potatoes,
mussels or cime di rapa.
Pasta with cherry tomatoes and arugula is
Regional desserts include zeppola, doughnuts usually topped with
powdered sugar and filled with custard, jelly, cannoli-style pastry
cream or a butter-and-honey mixture. For Christmas, Apulians make a
very traditional rose shape pastry called Cartellate. These are fried
and dipped in Vin Cotto which is a reduction of wine or in some cases
of fig juice.
An exhibition of typical Sardinian pasta shapes, cakes, and pastries
Suckling pig and wild boar are roasted on the spit or boiled in stews
of beans and vegetables, thickened with bread. Herbs such as mint and
myrtle are widely used in the regional cuisine.
Sardinia also has many
special types of bread, made dry, which keeps longer than
Traditional carasau bread
Also baked are carasau bread civraxiu, coccoi pinatus, a highly
decorative bread, and pistoccu made with flour and water only,
originally meant for herders, but often served at home with tomatoes,
basil, oregano, garlic and a strong cheese. Rock lobster, scampi,
squid, tuna, sardines are the predominant seafoods.
Casu marzu is a very strong cheese produced in Sardinia, but is of
questionable legality due to hygiene concerns.
Main article: Sicilian cuisine
Sicily shows traces of all the cultures which established themselves
on the island over the last two millennia. Although its cuisine
undoubtably has a predominantly Italian base, Sicilian food also has
Spanish, Greek and
Dionysus is said to have
introduced wine to the region: a trace of historical influence from
Pasta alla Norma is amongst Sicily's most historic and iconic dishes
The ancient Romans introduced lavish dishes based on goose. The
Byzantines favored sweet and sour flavors and the Arabs brought sugar,
citrus, rice, spinach, and saffron. The
Normans and Hohenstaufens had
a fondness for meat dishes. The Spanish introduced items from the New
World including chocolate, maize, turkey and tomatoes.
Much of the island's cuisine encourages the use of fresh vegetables
such as eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, and fish such as tuna, sea
bream, sea bass, cuttlefish, and swordfish. In Trapani, in the extreme
western corner of the island, North African influences are clear in
the use of various couscous based dishes, usually combined with
fish. Mint is used extensively in cooking unlike the rest of
Traditional specialties from
Sicily include arancini (a form of
deep-fried rice croquettes), pasta alla Norma, caponata, pani ca
meusa, and a host of desserts and sweets such as cannoli, granita, and
Sicily is Marsala, a red, fortified wine similar to Port
and largely exported.
Traditional Speckknödel soup. The
Südtirol cuisine has strong alpine
regional and Austrian influence
Council of Trent
Council of Trent in the middle of the 16th century, the
region was known for the simplicity of its peasant cuisine. When the
prelates of the Catholic Church established there, they brought the
art of fine cooking with them. Later, also influences from
Habsburg Empire came in.
Trentino subregion produces various types of sausages, polenta,
yogurt, cheese, potato cake, funnel cake and freshwater fish. In the
Südtirol (Alto Adige) subregion, due to the German-speaking majority
population, strong Austrian and Slavic influences prevail. The most
renowned local product is traditional speck juniper-flavored ham
Speck Alto Adige PGI, is regulated by the European Union
under the protected geographical indication (PGI) status. Goulash,
knödel, apple strudel, kaiserschmarrn, krapfen, rösti, spätzle and
rye bread are regular dishes, along with potatoes, dumpling, homemade
sauerkraut, and lard. The territory of
Bolzano is also reputed for
Müller-Thurgau white wines.
Finocchiona, a classic southern Tuscan Salami
Simplicity is central to the Tuscan cuisine. Legumes, bread, cheese,
vegetables, mushrooms and fresh fruit are used. A good example would
be ribollita, a notable Tuscan soup whose name literally means
"reboiled". Like most Tuscan cuisine, the soup has peasant origins.
It was originally made by reheating (i.e. reboiling) the leftover
minestrone or vegetable soup from the previous day. There are many
variations but the main ingredients always include leftover bread,
cannellini beans and inexpensive vegetables such as carrot, cabbage,
beans, silverbeet, cavolo nero (Tuscan kale), onion and olive oil.
A regional Tuscan pasta known as pici resembles thick, grainy-surfaced
spaghetti, and is often rolled by hand. White truffles from San
Miniato appear in October and November. High-quality beef, used for
the traditional Florentine steak, come from the
Chianina cattle breed
Chiana Valley and the
Maremmana from Maremma.
Pork is also produced. The region is well-known also for its rich
game, especially wild boar, hare, fallow deer, roe deer and pheasant
that often are used to prepare pappardelle dishes. Regional desserts
include panforte (prepared with honey, fruits and nuts), ricciarelli
(biscuits made using an almond base with sugar, honey and egg white),
and cavallucci (cookies made with almonds, candied fruits, coriander,
flour, honey). Well-known regional wines include Brunello di
Montalcino, Carmignano, Chianti, Morellino di Scansano, Parrina,
Sassicaia, Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
Sagrantino indigenous to the region of Umbria
Many Umbrian dishes are prepared by boiling or roasting with local
olive oil and herbs. Vegetable dishes are popular in the spring and
summer, while fall and winter sees meat from hunting and black
truffles from Norcia. Meat dishes include the traditional wild boar
sausages, pheasants, geese, pigeons, frogs, snails. Castelluccio is
known for its lentils,
Spoleto and Monteleone are known for spelt.
Freshwater fish include lasca, trout, freshwater perch, grayling, eel,
barbel, whitefish, and tench. Orvieto and
Sagrantino di Montefalco
are important regional wines.
Fontina cheese from Valle d'Aosta
In the Aosta Valley, bread-thickened soups are customary as well as
cheese fondue, chestnuts, potatoes, rice.
Polenta is a staple along
with rye bread, smoked bacon, Motsetta (cured chamois meat) and game
from the mountains and forests. Butter and cream are important in
stewed, roasted and braised dishes. Typical regional products
Fontina cheese, Vallée d'Aoste Lard d'Arnad, red wines and
Génépi Artemisia-based liqueur.
Main article: Venetian cuisine
Venice and many surrounding parts of
Veneto are known for risotto, a
dish whose ingredients can highly vary upon different areas, as fish
and seafood being added closer to the coast and pumpkin, asparagus,
radicchio and frogs' legs appearing further away from the Adriatic.
Made from finely ground maize meal, polenta is a traditional, rural
food typical of
Veneto and most of Northern Italy. It may find its way
into stirred dishes and baked dishes and can be served with various
cheese, stockfish or meat dishes.
Polenta served with
Sopressa and mushrooms, a traditional peasant food
Some polenta dishes includes porcini, rapini, or other vegetables or
meats, such as small song-birds in the case of the Venetian and
Lombard dish polenta e osei, or sausages. In some areas of
can be also made of a particular variety of cornmeal, named
biancoperla, so that the colour of polenta is white and not yellow
(the so-called polenta bianca).
Beans, peas and other legumes are seen in these areas with pasta e
fagioli (beans and pasta) and risi e bisi (rice and peas). Veneto
features heavy dishes using exotic spices and sauces. Ingredients such
as stockfish or simple marinated anchovies are found here as well.
Less fish and more meat is eaten away from the coast. Other typical
products are sausages such as Soppressa Vicentina, garlic salami,
Piave cheese and Asiago cheese. High quality vegetables are prized,
such as red radicchio from
Treviso and white asparagus from Bassano
del Grappa. Perhaps the most popular dish of
Venice is fegato alla
veneziana, thinly-sliced veal liver sauteed with onions.
Squid and cuttlefish are common ingredients, as is squid ink, called
nero di seppia. Regional desserts include tiramisu (made of
biscuits dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of egg yolks
and mascarpone, and flavored with liquor and cocoa), baicoli
(biscuits made with butter and vanilla) and nougat.
The most celebrated
Veneto wines include Bardolino, Prosecco, Soave,
Valpolicella DOC wines.
Main article: Meal structure in Italy
A typical Italian breakfast, consisting of cappuccino and brioche /
croissant / cornetto.
Traditionally, meals in
Italy usually contain four or five
courses. Especially on weekends, meals are often seen as a time to
spend with family and friends rather than simply for sustenance; thus,
meals tend to be longer than in other cultures. During holidays such
as Christmas and New Year's Eve, feasts can last for hours.
Today, the traditional Italian menu is kept mainly for special events
(such as weddings) while an everyday menu includes only the first
and/or second course, the side dish, and coffee. A notable aspect of
Italian meals is that the primo or first course is usually a more
filling dish such as risotto or pasta.
Italian cuisine also includes
single courses (all-in-one courses), providing carbohydrates and
proteins at the same time (e.g. pasta and legumes).
A bottle of sparkling Prosecco, which one would have as an aperitivo
apéritif usually enjoyed as an appetizer before a large meal, may be:
Campari, Martini, Cinzano, Lucano, Prosecco, Aperol, Spritz, Vermouth,
literally "before (the) meal", hot or cold, usually consist of cheese,
ham and bread appetizers.
"first course", usually consists of a hot dish like pasta, risotto,
gnocchi, or soup.
"second course", the main dish, usually fish or meat with potatoes.
Traditionally veal, pork and chicken are most commonly used, at least
in the North, though beef has become more popular since World War II
and wild game is found, particularly in Tuscany.
Fish is also very
popular, especially in the south.
"side dish", may be a salad or cooked vegetables. A traditional menu
features salad along with the main course.
Formaggio e frutta
"cheese and fruits", the first dessert. Local cheeses may be part of
the antipasto or contorno as well.
"sweet", such as cakes (like Tiramisu), cookies or ice-cream
"digestives", liquors/liqueurs (grappa, amaro, limoncello, sambuca,
nocino, sometimes referred to as ammazzacaffè, "coffee killer").
Each type of establishment has a defined role and traditionally sticks
Working farms that offer accommodations and meals. Sometimes meals are
served to guests only. According to Italian law, they can only serve
local-made products (except drinks). Marked by a green and gold sign
with a knife and fork.
Locations which serve coffee, soft drinks, juice and alcohol. Hours
are generally from 6am to 10pm. Foods may include croissants and other
sweet breads (often called 'brioche' in Northern Italy), panini,
tramezzini (sandwiches) and spuntini (snacks such as olives, potato
crisps and small pieces of frittata).
A bar that offers beer; found in central and northern regions of
Specialises in bruschetta, though other dishes may also be offered.
Friulian wine producers that open for the evening and may offer food
along with their wines.
An Italian ice cream shop/bar that sells gelato. A shop where the
customer can get his or her gelato to go, or sit down and eat it in a
cup or a cone. Bigger ice desserts, coffee, or liquors may also be
Focused on simple food of the region, often having no written menu.
Many are open only at night but some open for lunch. The name has
become fashionable for upscale restaurants with a rustic regional
Sandwich shop open during the day.
Specializing in pizza, often with wood-fired ovens.
Serving polenta; uncommon, and found only in northern regions.
Often offers upscale cuisine and printed menus.
Fast food restaurant, offering local dishes like cotoletta alla
milanese, roasted meat (usually pork or chicken), supplì and arancini
even as take-away.
Originating in Naples, offering pasta dishes and other main
Literally "hot table", offers pre-made regional dishes. Most open at
11am and close late.
A dining establishment, often family run, with inexpensive prices and
an informal atmosphere.
The garden at an osteria in Castello Roganzuolo, Veneto, Italy
A pizzeria in Naples,
Italy circa 1910
Interior of a trattoria in Tolmezzo, Friuli, Italy
See also: Espresso
Italian style coffee (caffè), also known as espresso, is made from a
blend of coffee beans.
Espresso beans are roasted medium to medium
dark in the north, and darker as you move south.
A common misconception is that espresso has more caffeine than other
coffee; in fact the opposite is true. The longer roasting period
extracts more caffeine. The modern espresso machine, invented in 1937
by Achille Gaggia, uses a pump and pressure system with water heated
to 90 to 95 °C (194 to 203 °F) and forced at high pressure
through a few grams of finely ground coffee in 25–30 seconds,
resulting in about 25 milliliters (0.85 fl oz, two tablespoons) of
Home coffee makers are simpler but work under the same principle. La
Napoletana is a four-part stove-top unit with grounds loosely placed
inside a filter; the kettle portion is filled with water and once
boiling, the unit is inverted to drip through the grounds. The Moka
per il caffè is a three-part stove-top unit that is placed on the
stovetop with loosely packed grounds in a strainer; the water rises
from steam pressure and is forced through the grounds into the top
portion. In both cases, the water passes through the grounds just
Espresso is usually served in a demitasse cup.
Caffè macchiato is
topped with a bit of steamed milk or foam; ristretto is made with less
water, and is stronger; cappuccino is mixed or topped with steamed,
mostly frothy, milk. It is generally considered a morning beverage,
and usually is not taken after a meal; caffelatte is equal parts
espresso and steamed milk, similar to café au lait, and is typically
served in a large cup.
Latte macchiato (spotted milk) is a glass of
warm milk with a bit of coffee and caffè corretto is "corrected" with
a few drops of an alcoholic beverage such as grappa or brandy.
The bicerin is also an Italian coffee, from Turin. It is a mixture of
cappuccino and traditional hot chocolate, as it consists of a mix of
coffee and drinking chocolate, and with a small addition of milk. It
is quite thick, and often whipped cream/foam with chocolate powder and
sugar is added on top.
Main article: Italian wine
DOCG and DOC labels on two wine bottles
Chianti in a traditional fiasco
Italy produces the largest amount of wine in the world and is both the
largest exporter and consumer of wine. Only about a quarter of this
wine is put into bottles for individual sale. Two-thirds is bulk wine
used for blending in France and Germany. The wine distilled into
Italy exceeds the production of wine in the entirety of the
New World. There are twenty separate wine regions.
Those vineyards producing great wines are trying to do away with the
old image of jug wines so often associated with Italian wine. To
promote this, the Italian government passed the Denominazione di
origine controllata (DOC) law in 1963 to regulate place of origin,
quality, production method and type of grape. The designation
Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) is a less restrictive designation
to help a wine maker graduate to the DOC level. In 1980, the
government created the
Denominazione di origine controllata
Denominazione di origine controllata e
garantita (DOCG), reserved for only the best wines.
Italy wine is commonly consumed (alongside water) in meals, which
are rarely served without it, though it's extremely uncommon for meals
to be served with any other drink, alcoholic or otherwise.
Main article: Beer in Italy
Italy hosts a wide variety of different beers, which are usually pale
lager. Beer is not as popular and widespread as wine (even though this
is changing, and beer is becoming more and more popular), and average
beer consumption in
Italy is less than in some other neighbouring
European nations, such as the United Kingdom,
Germany and Austria.
Among many popular brands, the most notable Italian breweries are
Peroni and Moretti.
Beer in Italy
Beer in Italy is often drunk in pizzerias, and
South Tyrol (German-speaking region) is the area where beer is made
and consumed the most.
A bottle of homemade Limoncello
There are also several other popular alcoholic drinks in Italy.
Limoncello, a traditional lemon liqueur from
Sicily and Southern Italy
Amalfi and the Gulf of Naples) in general, is one of the
most common. Made from lemon, it is an extremely
strong drink which is usually consumed in very small proportions, in
small glasses or cups.
Amaro Sicilianos are common Sicilian digestifs, made with herbs, which
are usually drunk after heavy meals. Mirto, an herbal distillate made
from the berries (red mirto) and leaves (white mirto) of the myrtle
bush, is popular in
Sardinia and other regions. Another well-known
Amaro Lucano from Basilicata.
Grappa is the typical alcoholic drink of northern Italy, generally
associated with the culture of the
Alps and of the Po Valley. The most
famous grappas are distilled in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto,
Piedmont and Trentino. The three most notable and recognizable Italian
aperitifs are Martini,
Vermouth and Campari. A sparkling drink which
is becoming internationally popular as a less expensive substitute for
French champagne is prosecco, from the
Main article: List of Italian desserts
See also: List of Italian dishes—Desserts and pastry
See also: Sicilian cuisine—Desserts and sweets
From the Italian perspective, cookies and candy belong to the same
category of sweets. Traditional candies include candied fruits,
torrone, and nut brittles, all of which are still popular in the
modern era. In medieval times, northern
Italy became so famous for the
quality of its stiff fruit pastes (similar to marmalade or conserves,
except stiff enough to mold into shapes) that "Paste of Genoa" became
a generic name for high-quality fruit conserves.
Silver-coated almond dragées, which are called confetti, are thrown
at weddings. The idea of including a romantic note with candy may have
begun with Italian dragées, no later than the early 19th century, and
is carried on with the multilingual love notes included in boxes of
Italy's most famous chocolate, Baci by
Perugina in Milan. The most
significant chocolate style is a combination of hazelnuts and milk
chocolate, which is featured in gianduja pastes like Nutella, which is
Ferrero SpA in Alba, Piedmont, as well as Perugnia's Baci and
many other chocolate confections.
Panettone is a traditional Christmas cake
Gelato is Italian ice cream
Panna Cotta with garnish
Tiramisu with cocoa powder garnish
Cannoli with Pistachio Grain, Candied and
Every region has its own holiday recipes. During La Festa di San
Giuseppe (St. Joseph's Day) on 19 March, Sicilians give thanks to St.
Joseph for preventing a famine during the Middle Ages. The
fava bean saved the population from starvation, and is a traditional
St. Joseph's Day
St. Joseph's Day altars and traditions. Other customs
celebrating this festival include wearing red clothing, eating
Sicilian pastries known as zeppole and giving food to the poor.
Easter Sunday, lamb is served throughout Italy. A typical Easter
Sunday breakfast in
Tuscany includes salami, boiled eggs,
Easter Cakes and pizza. The common cake for
Easter Day is the
Colomba Pasquale (literally,
Easter dove), which is often simply known
Easter cake" abroad. It is supposed to represent the dove,
and is topped with almonds and pearl sugar.
Christmas Eve a symbolic fast is observed with the cena di magro
("light dinner"), a meatless meal. Typical cakes of the Christmas
season are panettone and pandoro.
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Due to several Italian colonies being set up in Africa, mainly in
Somalia (except the northern part, which
was under British rule), there is a considerable amount of Italian
influence on the cuisines of these nations.
Italy's legacy from the days when
Libya was invaded by
Italy can be
seen in the popularity of pasta on its menus, particularly Sharba, a
highly spiced Libyan soup. Bazin, a local specialty, is a hard paste,
made from barley, salt and water, and one of the most popular meals in
Libyan cuisine is Batata mubatana (filled potato). It consists of
fried potato pieces filled with spiced minced meat and covered with
egg and breadcrumbs.
All major cities and towns in
South Africa have substantial
populations of Italians. There are "Italian Clubs" in all main cities
and they have had a significant influence on the cuisine of this
country. Italian foods, like ham and cheeses, are imported and some
also made locally, and every city has a popular Italian restaurant or
two, as well as Pizzerias. Pastas are popular and is eaten more and
more by South Africans. The production of good quality olive oil is on
the rise in South Africa, especially in the drier south-western parts
where there is a more Mediterranean-type of rainfall pattern. Some
oils have even won top international awards.
In France, the cuisine of Corsica has much in common with the Italian
cuisine, since the island was from the Early
Middle Ages until 1768
first of a Pisan and then a Genoese possession. This is above all
relevant by the first courses and by the charcuterie.
Pizza and pasta dishes such as spaghetti bolognese and lasagne with
bolognese ragù and
Béchamel sauce are the most popular forms of
Italian food in British, notably, English, cuisine.
Italian cuisine has had a strong influence on Slovenian cuisine. For
Italy and western Slovenia have formed part
of the same cultural-historical and geographical space. Between 1918
and 1945, western Slovenia (the
Slovenian Littoral and part of Inner
Carniola) were part of Italy. In addition, an autochthonous Italian
minority live in Slovenian Istria.
For these reasons Italian dishes have penetrated the local Slovenian
cuisine. Furthermore, there are numerous typical dishes that are
shared between the Slovenian cuisines and the cuisine of the
neighboring Italian region of
Friuli Venezia Giulia: these include the
gubana nut roll of
Friuli (known as guban'ca or potica in Slovenia)
and the jota stew.
Among the Slovenian dishes that come directly from Italian cuisine,
the gnocchi and some types of pasta are especially popular, as well as
dishes like the minestrone (known as mineštra in Slovene) or the
frittata (known as frtalja in Slovene).
Prosciutto (pršut in Slovenian) and polenta are also popular.
North and Central America
Canada and the USA
Main article: Italian-American cuisine
An Italian-American pizza with pepperoni (salami), mushrooms, olives
Italian-American cuisine is based on that found in Campania
and Sicily, heavily Americanized to reflect ingredients and conditions
found in the United States. Most pizza eaten around the world derives
ultimately from the Neapolitan style, if somewhat thicker and usually
with more toppings in terms of quantity.
Throughout the country the "torta de milanesa" is a common item
offered at food carts and stalls. It is a sandwich made from locally
baked bread and contains a breaded, pan-fried cutlet of pork or beef.
"Pescado Veracruzano" is a dish that originates from the port city of
Veracruz and features a fillet of fresh fish (usually Gulf Red
Snapper) covered in a distinctly Mediterranean influenced sauce
containing stewed tomatoes, garlic, green olives, and capers. Also,
"espagueti" (spaghetti) and other pastas are popular in a variety of
Milanesa a la napolitana" with French fries, an Italian-inspired dish
based on the original cotoletta dish from Milan, common in South
America. This dish is called "parmegiana steak" in Brazil, though it
is not typical from
Parma region in
Italy but was actually invented in
Due to large Italian immigration to Argentina, Italian food and drink
is heavily featured in Argentine cuisine. An example could be
milanesas (The name comes from the original cotoletta alla milanese
from Milan, Italy) or breaded cutlets.
Pizza (locally pronounced pisa
or pitsa), for example, has been wholly subsumed and in its Argentine
form more closely resembles Italian calzones than it does its Italian
ancestor. There are several other Italian-Argentine dishes, such as
Sorrentinos and Argentine gnocchi.
Italian cuisine is popular in Brazil, due to great immigration there
in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Due to the huge Italian community,
São Paulo is the place where this cuisine is most appreciated.
Several types of pasta and meat, including milanesa steaks, have made
their way into both daily home and street kitchens and fancy
restaurants. The city has also developed its particular variety of
pizza, different from both Neapolitan and American varieties, and it
is largely popular on weekend dinners. In
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro Italian
cuisine is also popular, and pizza has developed as a typical botequim
There is considerable Italian influence in Venezuelan cuisine. Pan
chabata, or Venezuelan ciabatta, Pan Siciliano, Sicilian bread,
Cannoli siciliano, Sicilian cannoli, and the drink chinotto are
examples of the Italian influence in Venezuelan food and beverages.
Il cucchiaio d'argento, an Italian cookbook
Il talismano della felicità by Ada Boni, an Italian cookbook
List of Italian cheeses
List of Italian DOP cheeses
List of Italian dishes
List of Italian soups
List of Italian restaurants
Italian meal structure
^ "Italian Food Italy". www.lifeinitaly.com. Retrieved
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Italian Food - World's Most Influential Food. Thrillist
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