It is said that the kitchen is the mirror of the country and the culture of this country. Nothing could be truer if one thinks of Italy. Italian cuisine has developed over the centuries, from Roman antiquities, with Greek, Arab, Byzantine and new world influences. As for the country, even the kitchen knows many different regional differences, while maintaining a common line, typical of the Mediterranean diet. Italian cuisine is a simple cuisine, often some dishes require less than five ingredients. But it is also a balanced cuisine, which relies on the quality of the products, rather than quantity. The most famous recipes, in Italy, have been written by mothers and grandmothers, not by great chefs, and this makes Italian cooking a home cooking, easily reproducible and often reproduced abroad, so as to become the most popular cuisine at the world.
In Italy, there are four types of meals, but not all of them have the same importance. The first meal of the day is breakfast, normally between 7 and 10. Italian breakfast is exclusively sweet; usually, a coffee or a cappuccino, sometimes with a juice, with biscuits, croissants or bread and jam. It's a light meal, so on a working day, a mid-morning snack is followed, which can be a snack, cookies or fruit. Lunch is one of two main meals, usually between 12 and 14. It is generally hot and consists of four courses or dishes in theory: - Appetizers, a short taste of cheeses or cold cuts to stimulate appetite - A first course, made with pasta, rice or soup - A second course, or side dish, made of meat, fish, eggs or vegetables - A sweet or fruit These dishes usually follow a coffee and a bitter, also called ammazzacaffè, because it reduces the effects of caffeine. A meal that is so complete is consumed, by now, only on Sundays and public holidays, while we normally eat either a first or a second course. In the afternoon between four and five o'clock, especially for children, there is a snack, a light meal of sweet, bread and chocolate or biscuits, with tea or milk. Between the ages of six and seven, the aperitif has spread, a snack accompanied by a cocktail after work and before dinner. Dinner is the other most important meal of the day and usually takes place between seven and nine. The scheme is the same as for lunch and also, in this case, we normally only eat a first or a second. Times change a lot depending on the job, but, in general, the more you go down to the south and the more you tend to eat later. So important is the nutrition that Italy had decided to organize a Universal Exposition (EXPO) on this theme in Milan, in 2015.
In Mediterranean countries, and in particular in Italy, the kitchen became particularly rich and varied thanks to the contributions of different cultural traditions, from Greek to Etruscan, from Roman to Arabic. The cereals and vegetables played an important role and in the riparian zones, the fish constituted the base of nutritious soups. The peculiarity of Italian cuisine lies in the well-defined regional variety.
Among the many local traditions are the elaborate Piedmontese cuisine, based on excellent products such as white truffles and fine meats; the Apulian cuisine, rich in vegetables; the Sardinian, both coastal, which offers savory fish dishes and delicious lobsters, and both internal, rich in strong flavors, such as pork and sheep; the Emiliana, tasty with many home-made kinds of pasta also stuffed; the Ligurian, simple and extremely refined. The Italian cuisine is also distinguished by the numerous sauces for pasta and rice often dictated by the simplicity of the ingredients and lightness. Some of the dishes that make Italian cuisine known all over the world are pizza, spaghetti with tomato sauce, trenette with pesto, tagliatelle with meat sauce, rice with cuttlefish ink, Milanese risotto, ravioli with filling of meat, lasagna alla bolognese, potato gnocchi seasoned, the Milanese cutlet, the ossibuchi, the fish soup, the cuttlefish in zimino, the fried fish, the braised Barolo, the Florentine steak, the veal tonnato, the fricassee lamb, the top of the Genoese, the panettone, the pandoro, the panforte, the nougat, the pastiera.
Italy has a unique culinary tradition in the world: each of the twenty Italian regions has a wide variety of recipes, wines, and typical ingredients and products.
eating is an integral part of the journey. Tastes and culture intertwine in a mouthful, which the traveler cannot get lost.
I speak not only of the food itself, but also of the rituals that are created around the food: the conviviality of the Mediterranean countries at table, the cakes in front of the TV with the friends of the Scandinavian countries, the afternoon tea in England, the American barbecues, Spanish tapas (and cañas), mint tea that is the symbol of hospitality in Morocco.
From these habits we understand many aspects of a culture: the extroverted character of the Mediterranean peoples, the importance of the family in Sweden and Norway, the elegance of the English, the grit of the Americans, the vitality and the warmth of the Spaniards, the composure and the courtesy of the Moroccans.
Observing a people through the lens of food teaches you so much about your culture.
There are places where eating is just an excuse to be together, others where it is normal to reserve a table for one person.
There are places where you cook a whole day for the person you love, others where you always eat away from home and do not shop for weeks.
There are places where you sit at the table for hours chatting, others where you can eat on the fly, walking alone between the office and home
Italy has always been synonymous with eating well: an unmistakable explosion of tastes, flavors, and aromas. It is the most famous cuisine in the world and offers more than any other an incredible variety of dishes and different recipes for each municipality, province, region.
Do not miss the itineraries of taste, a journey into Italian gastronomic culture, in search of ancient flavors, genuine products, simple foods that refer to classic cuisine or offer innovative dishes inspired by tradition. The famous Parmigiano Reggiano, Parma ham or San Daniele, balsamic vinegar from Modena, Ligurian pesto, buffalo mozzarella from Campania, Alba truffle and cured meats are just some of the products that make Bel Paese the land of taste. And how can we forget about pasta or pizza that are synonymous with Italy all over the world?
The name of Italy for the ancient Greeks was "Enotria", because already from the farthest past the peninsula was known for its extraordinary wines. It is impossible to list all the different characteristic productions that have made Italian wine famous in the world for its variety and quality: wine is the ambassador of Italian excellence. Unbeatable pleasure in tasting, immersed in their natural landscape, a glass of Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany, Barbera or Barolo in Piedmont, Prosecco di Valdobbiadene in Veneto, Lambrusco in Emilia Romagna, and then the Sicilian wines and the white wines of Friuli and Trentino-Alto Adige, the great red wines of Valtellina, just to make some famous examples. A world of flavors to try for the pleasure of the palate, eyes, and heart!
Wine and food itineraries
The Mediterranean diet, whose beneficial effects are universally known, finds some of its most important components in bread and oil. The wheat fields that turn into bread shapes of different types and flavors, and the changing green of the olive groves, which from the sea level to the hills, to the lakes produce quality oils, characterize the Italian landscape from north to south.
The choice of a farm holiday: accommodation, catering, services and attractions of holidays on the farm could be another amazing way to start a quest for authenticity, tradition and healthy delicious Italian foods!
Are you a foodie and you love Italian cuisine? Explore our Featured Collection and you will find so many interesting items to create beautiful outfits while keeping things Italian and absolutely stunning!