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Italian trattoria - Photo by Kevin Armstrong
Photo: Kevin Armstrong
Flickr Creative Commons photo
One way of traveling to Italy is to follow a gastronomic map. From North to south, from West to East,

The Secrets of Italian Food

Marilena Dal Maso

Fast food is becoming very popular in many countries around the world, but this is not going to happen in Italy beause we want to preserve our original food.

One way of traveling to Italy is to follow a gastronomic map. From North to south, from West to East, Italy can surprise you with the variety of ingredients and recipes which are utilized to make you feel happy when eating a plate of linguine col pesto, a risotto con radicchio de Treviso, or a tortelli di zucca plate.

The secret formula? Different traditions, high quality ingredients, passion for natural foods, and individualism.

Every gastronimic area has its specific characteristics which are maintained over time by restaurants and trattorie, which are typical places owned by families. Their menus offer local products, seasonal vegetables, and herbs.

They serve fresh fish from our seas--the Adriatic and the Tirrenianor special kinds of meats, which come from hunting wild animals, if they are found near the mountains.

Every good restaurant serves delicious homemade pastas. Pasta is a must in Italian food. We can eat pasta in hundreds of different ways.

Pasta in different shapes
Photo: Matteo
Flickr Creative Commons photo
We can eat pasta in hundreds of different ways. Every single shape has its ideal combination with vegetables.

Every single shape has its ideal combination with vegetables like orecchiette con le cime di rapa, with wild mushrooms like pappardelle con porcini, with white truffle like tagliatelle con tartufo di Alba, or with a special sauce of fish eggs spaghetti con bottarga that you can eat only in Sicily and Sardinia, or...

The list goes on and on, from a time that started centuries ago and goes up until now, never forgetting that a good plate is the "soul" of life. Obviously accompanied by its glass of wine.

Well, let me tell you that Italy also produces about one thousand and five hundred varieties of cheese, mostly made by hand in small quantities.

What about bread, and focaccias, and pizzas? Every region, almost every city has its special bread. For this reason, even with a short break it is possible to have a good panino, which is our name for sandwich, or a pizza. Don't forget that the original pizza napoletana is made with mozzarella de bufala on top.

We don't care too much for slow food or fast food. We mostly care about good food. Try it and enjoy it!

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