Some may not be aware that the cultural variety of the regions in Italy is greatly manifested in Italian cuisine, apart from its Italian history as influenced by the Roman, Greek, Arab, and Norman civilizations. For this reason, Italian recipes are said to be in variety, too, like the mixed regions that comprise the country.
Yet how well do we really know the variety of Italian recipes? Italian cuisine is diverse in the sense that there are different foods from the northern parts and southern parts of Italy. Ingredients, food preparation and cooking vary as well from region to region.
Here’s a bit of a comparison between the cuisine of the two parts of Italy.
Northern Italian cuisine has the following qualities in food preparation and cooking:
-They prefer unsalted butter instead of olive oil and make use of cream, polenta, ricotta, and Mascarpone cheese.
-They are into hearty soups during winter.
-They have veal, beef, and pork as preferred meat choices, because of a good cattle breed in their region, fit for milk and meat production.
-They use less tomato and prefer fresh egg pasta.
-Cooking style is from frying and boiling through stewing and slow braising.
-Their cooks prefer to use broth or wine as liquid base, while adding herbs for good flavor.
-Apart from ducks and other bird species, they also have a wide variety of fish, shells, and other sea foods, ranging from eels, to clams and mussels, and to freshwater fishes
On the other hand, Southern Italian cuisine also has the following qualities in food preparation and cooking:
-They make use of larger amounts of tomatoes, as opposed to the Northern cuisine, which makes use of red as their preferred sauce, and eggplants. Tomatoes and eggplants are considered summer vegetables. Broccoli and cauliflower are winter vegetables.
-They prefer to use dried pasta rather than the egg pasta of the North.
-Lamb and kid are necessary choices in their daily diet, as they are known for shepherding. Nevertheless, cattle and fish are still part of their dishes. In other areas, fish is even the dominating choice.
-They also have excellent cheeses, say, Mozarella cheese for example. Provolone and caciocavallo appear to be firm.
-Lastly, desserts from this region are said to be more sumptuous than desserts coming from the North.
It’s not merely the recipes in Italy that give everyone an enticing treat, even the language is lovely to hear. So if you’re not familiar with the names of Italian recipes, read a few guides below to give you a head start:
-Antipasto refers to the cold and hot appetizers.
-Primo, or The First Course, consists of hot dishes like risotto and pasta.
-Secondo, or The Second Course, consists of the main dish, normally fish or meat. Beef only became popular after World War II; veal is the commonly used meat.
-Contorno, or The Side Dish, is usually vegetables or salads.
-Dolce is by far the most familiar, which means Dessert.
The unique Italian recipes are continuously being imitated worldwide, but in whatever ways other countries do it, of course, the best Italian cuisine remains to be where the real heart is.