Do you really know about the variety of Italian cuisine?
The most fascinating thing about Italian cuisine is indeed its variety and versatility, because in every corner of Italy there is an unexpected culinary delight waiting for you.
Italian cooking is undoubtedly wide, beloved, well known, variegated, reworked, faked and even idolized. But if, despite the frying of fish with vegetables and the large use of butter for breaded cutlets and risotto, it has achieved the respect of international nutritionist, there must be a reason why.
We can affirm that the feature best summarizing Italian cuisine is the variety. Because Italy is not just Chianina meat and Milanese breaded cutlet, neither spaghetti carbonara or raw ham tortellini: it is also the Country of Tropean tuna filet and Ligurian sea-bass, and of linguine with seafood and spaghetti with clams.
As geographically and socio-politically there were two Italies for a long time, there are actually an Italy of the meat and one of the fish. There is a peninsula that exalts the vegetable caponata (dish made of fried seasonal vegetable) and one that plants cereals, one that bottles wines and one other that ages cheese.
A culinary tour from Fontina cheese to Lasagna
A culinary tour of Italy is a dream of many Italians (including myself) but also of many foreigners, who had the chance to appreciate the dozens of local specialties which every Region can offer.
Just focusing on cheese: we have the solid forms of Fontina Valdostana, the smelly Gorgonzola, the sculptural Parmesan cheese, the tender slices of Roman Pecorino, the famous Neapolitan Mozzarella and the softer Apulian Burrata. Moreover, small and seasonal productions, extremely localized, vary from valley to hill, from farm to cheese factory.
From North Italy come courses which we could define as wintrier, like the delicious Pizzoccheri from Valtellina or the saffron risotto from Milano. With an obvious prevalence of meat over fish, you can accompany them with intense red wines, as the Piedmontese Barolo and the sparkling Lambrusco.
Around middle Italy, regions such as Emilia Romagna are the homeland to tortellini, raw ham, but also of coppa and Parmesan cheese. In autumn, you can find here the freshest of Porcini mushrooms, to taste both with meat and pasta.
The South is instead a sparkle of dishes colored by the red of tomatoes and the green of basil, as pizza, amatriciana pasta, linguine with seafood and cherry tomatoes, peperonata, lasagne and swordfish slices alla pizzaiola (with tomatoes, olives and oregano). The variety of fried fish becomes a weekly must and it is compulsorily followed by a very short espresso to end the meal.
This is just a fast and short review about Italian cooking, because every Region has specialties and delicacies that just the locals know and which we will soon have the pleasure to show you; because we at Omioo strongly believe that everybody should have the chance to do shopping online like a local and discover the authentic products of the different European cities.
So stay tuned to learn more about Italian culinary culture, wine, oils and traditions included.
Read the article also in Italian.