Most people will recognize pasta and pizza – two of the most popular dishes that form part of the Italian cuisine. However, Italian cuisine has a lot more to offer than just these two well known dishes. Most importantly, Italian cuisine also has a rich and tempting history – just like the different dishes that form part of its offerings.
All over the land of Italy, all the Italians always maintain a distinctive cooking habit or style that shines in their eating habits, their styles of preparing a meal and the way they select local ingredients. Right from the pre-Roman era till date the Italian food history has gone through a considerable change.
In the ancient times, the preparation of food was very important. One of the ancient and surviving cookbooks is known as the Apicus. The Apicus dates right back to 1st century BC.
It was after the downfall of the Romans that the spread of the Italian cuisine began. Individual states started to uphold their separate traditions and identities. Every region started its own special and unique method of cooking, from the very basic preparation of the meatballs to characteristic varieties of cheeses and also the wine produced in any locale.
For example Northern states developed the Tuscan beef, on the other hand black truffles was prepared in Marches, and the very famous Mozzarella and Provolone cheeses developed in South, simultaneously being the host of a lot of citrus fruits.
There were varieties in bread, pasta, and other different food preparation methodologies according to the region. The eating habits were also a total contrast as the people in Southern Italy loved hard-boiled spaghetti, but those from the North preferred the soft-egg noodles.
Different cities started to become famous for their specialties like Milan for Risotto, Bologna for Tortellini, while Naples for Pizzas.
In these past few years the Italian cuisine evolved greatly due to the wealth from outside influences which added a flavor and an appeal. The ancient Greeks with their wealthy imports from various places added an exotic ingredients and spices to the Italian cuisine.
The Coastal regions of Italy are popular for delicious seafood and fish. For example, while Sardinia has a traditional style of cooking that includes foods such as Swordfish, anchovies, lobster, sardines, etc, Sicily has heavy North-African influences.
Even today the varieties in Italian cooking show distinctions between the northern and the southern style of cooking. Each and every region carries their traditions reflecting deeply in history. This wonderful culture with never-ending preparations of appetizers, main-courses, and desserts that will always continue to tempt our taste buds.