Most people’s ideas of Italian cuisine are a combination of tortellini, minestrone, spaghetti, and lasagna. If you visit Italy with such a spooky view of Italian cuisine, you will be pleasantly surprised by the variety of dishes that the Italians eat.
The reason for this variety is simple. Italy has nineteen regions, each with its own cuisine. Moreover, Italian cuisine changes with the seasons. Fresh ingredients are of the utmost importance in an Italian kitchen. Because of this, you will discover that the summer kitchen is different from the winter kitchen.
Cuisine from Northern Italy
Mostly, Americans are familiar with the part of Italian cuisine that is typical of Northern Italy. All heavy dishes loaded with cheese and rich sauce come for this reason. You will enjoy staying in Northern Italy if you enjoy the Italian food available in America.
Although you are familiar with Northern Italian cuisine, you will still be surprised by the wonderful differences between authentic Northern Italian food and the Italian dishes available in America.
Southern Italian Food
The cuisine of southern Italy is different. The people of southern Italy use more fish in their diet. This variant of Italian cuisine is called “Mediterranean food”.
Southern Italian dishes are generally lighter and healthier. Because of their eating habits, Southern Italians are the healthiest people in the world. One of the factors that makes the Southern Italian diet so healthy is the use of olive oil in most of their dishes.
Spices in Italian cuisine
Don’t limit your ideas about Italian cuisine to a few dishes of spaghetti and meatballs. Italian cuisine is rich, complex, and diverse. More spices find their way into an Italian dish than just garlic.
Many people have the misconception that Italians use an abundance of spices in their food. This is because in America, people who have not been to Italy or tasted Italian cuisine cook Italian food.
Italians only use spices to enhance the natural flavour of certain dishes. In addition, the nature of Italian food depends on the seasons, and because of this, Italians do not rely heavily on the use of spices. Their meats, pastas, and sauces usually have their own fresh taste. However, travellers have found that Northern Italians use more spices in their food than Southern Italians.
When thinking about Italian cuisine, it is very important to realise that there is no standard Italian cuisine. With nineteen regions, there are nineteen varieties of Italian cuisine. Each region has its own unique cooking style, its dishes with local vegetables and animal products. Despite the variations, a traveller in any part of Italy will discover that something is known about Italian cuisine, and this comforting sense of familiarity is what makes Italian cuisine a popular favourite in most parts of the world.