What’s so great about Italian food anyway? Is there a reason why I should make it at home?
Italian food as a concept is a bit misleading - you should definitely try to recreate Italian regional food at home - huge variety, loads of choices, and minimal ingredients make Italian cuisine simple to tackle.
Traditionally speaking, Italian cooking is admired and applauded the world over for so many different reasons. Again, thinking of Italian cuisine as being simply Italian and not regional is a bit reductive, as the overall cooking in my country is bursting with sfumature tied to regional approaches. But with that in mind, I believe we can pinpoint why YOU need to start cooking Italian-style - do you agree with my assessment below?
- Tradition - each region brings its history directly to the lunch table.
Quality - Made in Italy ingredients are safe, healthy, tremendously gustosi.
Togetherness - eating Italian-style almost insists on getting together with good food, good wine, good people. It’s not a people person, it's a people food!
Creativity - using the most out of what you have, inventiveness and imagination make for intriguing plates and presentation, and reduce food waste.
Health - the Mediterranean Diet is the way to stay healthy and balanced.
The Italian Cooking Conclusion: regional or unified, we love it in any shape it takes.
Some schools of thought suggest that the conundrum of Italian cooking was actually answered by one of the most masterful food writers of modern history, Pellegrino Artusi. With his La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiar bene ("Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well"), selections representative of Italian cooking were all pulled together in one book binding (for the first time). I have personally given this book as a gift to a zillion friends as a way to dive right into not just Italian food, but also Italian history. With food as the common denominator, Artusi’s thoughts on cuisine’s innate ability to join cultural and personal gaps within Italian society are absolutely fascinating. Think of Artusi as a Julia Child prototype (but less entertaining, and not a Francophile but the real Italian deal), bringing Italian food to the Italians who until then, only had trafficked in regional food.
Cooking in regional, or let’s say, Italian style, will add a whole new dimension of health, warmth and amore to your kitchen. To roughly quote the Italian journalist Ennio Flaiano, “Italy’s unity as conceived and dreamt about by the founders of the second Renaissance, today is called a plate of pasta.” Meaning, the symbol of Italy as a united country today takes the shape of a plate of pasta - uniting all Italians by their love of one of several emblematic dishes.
Ready to get started? Be sure to join my friend Chef Michele for some starting delectable recipes, and get inspired to cook like an Italian, and explore all the regions from your own home!
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