There are so many existing Italian dishes, that it would be really difficult to go to Italy and try all of them out, or even just to mention them all in one article! Many traditional Italian ingredients, methods and dishes have moved to other places, and are now available to buy and eat in many countries outside of Italy! Recipes of traditional foods are also passed down from one generation to the next. Thus, a lot of families would have slightly different ideas as to how a certain dish should be made. Keep on reading to find out what 5 of the many traditional Italian foods are!
1. Pizza -Nowadays there are 2 types of pizza; Neopolitan-style and Roman-style. However, many pizzerias tend to opt for a mixture of both. Whilst Neopolitan-style pizza has a thick and fluffy crust, Roman-style pizza has a far more thinner crust and it is crunchier as well! Most pizzas in Italy do not contain a lot of toppings and they tend to use ingredients such as eggplant, artichoke and pumpkin, which are not very commonly found as toppings in other countries. So, beware of restaurants serving pizza with a lot of toppings as this is usually a strategy used to cover up cheap ingredients!
2. Pasta – Pasta is very popular all over the world as it is very versatile and can be the base for many different sauces. Some of the most famous Italian pasta are spaghetti, penne and fettuccine. Each region in Italy has its own famous pasta recipes; for example, in Rome, Cacio e Pepe and Carbonara are quite well-known, and they are a must-try! Italian pasta sauces tend to be made with just a few ingredients, so that one can appreciate the different ingredients’ flavours.
3. Lasagna- This flat, wide noodle dish, originally comes from the region of Emilia-Romagna (although very much debated), and it is typically baked in layers with ragu, béchamel sauce and cheese in between. Even though it used to be a poor man’s dish, nowadays it has become a rich meal, widely served at restaurants all around Italy.
4. Focaccia – Focaccia is probably the most famous type of flatbread in the world! Even though focaccia is said to have originated from Liguria, it is made in various regions in Italy, and they all look and taste differently! Focaccia tastes delicious even by keeping it simple with just a drizzle of olive oil on top. Some even top it with some rosemary, olives and cherry tomatoes.
5. Gelato – Well we had to mention something sweet, didn’t we? If you’ve ever tasted gelato, you would know it does not taste the same as regular ice cream. Gelato has less butterfat than ice cream. Thus, it is served a bit warmer, which in turn makes it easier for the flavour to melt in your mouth. Less butterfat also makes the flavours more intense and the texture smoother.
As one can see from the list above, Italians tend to put less ingredients in their dishes than other countries. This evokes sophistication in their dishes and also helps one to savour and be able to taste all of the ingredients a dish is made of. Well, they do say simplicity is best!
Walks of Italy .(2017). The 16 Most Iconic Foods to Eat in Italy. https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/all-around-italy/the-16-most-iconic-foods-to-eat-in-italy
Tuscookany. (2017). What is Italian Focaccia and their regional difference?
https://tuscookany.com/blog/what-is-italian-focaccia-and-their-regional-differences/ Culture Trip. (2017). What is Real, Authentic Italian Pizza Like? https://theculturetrip.com/europe/italy/articles/what-is-real-authentic-italian-pizza-like/