6 REASONS WHY ITALIAN FOOD IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD
From the most remote island in Asia to Europe, Africa, America, Oceania: anywhere in the world you can find an Italian restaurant or some sort of Italian food (and yes, it’s not only about pasta and pizza). Food in Italy is culture, tradition, even medicine. And that is why Italians are so jealous of it (take a look here for 10 things Italians would never eat or drink.)
Let’s see why Italian food is so famous.
Italian food is as simple and down to heart as a dish can be. The majority of food contains products you could easily grow in your backyard, such as tomato, basil, e.v. olive oil. Typical dishes like pizza and pasta are made with few ingredients combined. You don’t need to use 100 ingredients to have a delicious, smashing pasta or risotto. Take the most famous Italian risotto, risotto “alla Milanese.” Well, take rice, e.v.o., onion, white wine, broth, butter, saffron, and you’re done. No need to add strange, useless ingredients: as they say, less is more.
The secret of any Italian dish is the super high quality of the simple ingredients we talked about. If out of a six-ingredient dish, 2 of them are of crap quality, do not expect anything good. So forget canned food.
And that is why real Italian pizza is extremely hard to find outside of Italy: if you change your e.v.o. with simple olive oil, use canned marinara sauce instead of fresh tomato sauce if you put everything you have in the fridge at the top of it… well, that is not pizza.
Remember, few but fresh and super high-quality ingredients, and you’re safe. No frozen food, no processed food, no microwave food.
Italian cuisine is extremely varied, and so are the ingredients commonly used. From north to south there are endless variations and so many different dishes, it’s almost impossible to try everything even in a lifetime. Each of the 20 Italian regions has its own specialties depending both on the geography of the area (mountain, sea, north, south) and the history of it (for instance, Sicily’s Arabic domination means similar desserts to the Arabic Countries).
Generally speaking, in the north of the country, the food is more meat-based, risotto, and polenta are extremely common, and the less known (but equally delicious) pizzoccheri (Lombardy) and gnocchi are widely consumed. Going south, you find the world-famous pesto sauce (Liguria), Lasagna, and Parmigiano Reggiano (Emilia Romagna), pappardelle with meat sauce “ragù” (Tuscany). The region of Rome (Lazio) is famous for its “pasta alla carbonara” and “pasta all’ arrabbiata” and the southern regions with the Sicilian “pasta alla norma” and “arancini”, Napoli’s pizza, and so on. Of course, pizza and pasta are present throughout the whole country.
Cheese is widely consumed (ricotta, mascarpone, parmigiano, pecorino, mozzarella, just to name a few), and so is wine (Italy is the world’s largest producer of wine).
There are tons of restaurants in Italy, and Italians love to treat themselves with a nice dinner out or a “cappuccino and brioche” breakfast at the local bar. But, in general, Italians like cooking their own food and eating it with their family (yes, the big family Sunday lunch is a real thing). Usually, in the north of the country, people are more on-the-go while in the south they like to take their time to enjoy food. Nonetheless, food is something that gathers people together and plays a massive part in the typical Italian household.
Generally speaking, Italian food is healthy. Before McDonald’s and Starbucks got to the country, the concept of “fast food” didn’t exist. Actually, Italians wouldn’t even translate it in their language since it’s something that doesn’t belong to their culture. The famous Mediterranean diet is a common diet in Italy. In fact, it’s not even a diet but simply the way they eat every day: clean, high quality, simple food. It’s not a surprise that the Italian population is the most longeval in the world behind Japan.
What about you? Do you have any similarities with Italian traditions?
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