Italy’s 10 iconic foods. Part 1

Italians revere home produced ingredients, cook their dishes with delicacy and simplicity, and enjoy them among their families and friends.

Italian cuisine can’t be described as a certain culinary style. It is actually a colorful and complex mix of many cooking traditions varying from one region to another depending on local climate, agricultural industry, culture and history. Every province puts in its own flavor making this cuisine so outstanding and recognizable. Although it’s hard to notice a certain national character in terms of food, such can be pinpointed in terms of the local eating style. Italians revere home produced ingredients, cook their dishes with delicacy and simplicity, and enjoy them among their families and friends, in an unhurried way and with great relish. We have chosen ten Italian tastes by regions, so you could have a better understanding of the country’s culinary map.

#1 Piedmont Truffles

The thing that makes the white truffle such a delightful food attracting people to Alba (Piedmont) and costing over $3600 per pound is… its scent. These mushrooms grow underground and thus compensate their inability of spores dispersal with the help of wind, by emitting temporal aroma that makes certain animals spread the spores around while unearthing them. The attractive scent is present just for a couple of days, so as soon as it’s scattered, the exceptional taste disappears. Although certain types of truffle are domesticated, this one has always been independent and hardly accessible. Doesn’t it make the white truffle a very special Italian food?

 

Polenta

Polenta

 

#2 Polenta of cornmeal

This meal is the shape-shifter of the Veneto cuisine. It can’t be called a certain course, and nevertheless it can be found practically in every dish from snacks to sweet treats. Italians cook it loose simply by boiling cornmeal and serve it as a garnish. They also bake it between sauce layers – both with and without meat – and soft cheese. Surprisingly, polenta is even present in all types of sweets and cookies.

#3 Prosciutto from Parma

This is the most demanded ham on the planet, and it demands 4 necessary components: healthy well fed swines, salt, dry mountain air and knowing the technology. That is why this ham is produced in Emilia-Romagna where the airstreams rising from the local river and moving through the Apennines, the woods and olives reach the facility where salted hind legs or thighs are hanging.

Prosciutto from Parma

Prosciutto from Parma

 

#4 The King of Cheeses

Produced in the same region as our previous entrant, this hard, granular cheese can age from 1.5 up to 4 years. When added fresh to your meal (especially to pasta, risotto or soup), Parmigiano Reggiano upgrades it significantly. Enjoyed alone or with an Italian sparkling wine – either white or red – it will let you understand how it does the trick of adorning and brightening any meal. It has a fruity/nutty taste and a savory flavor and makes for a perfect starter thanks to its rich savour and texture.

Parmigiano Reggiano
Parmigiano Reggiano

 

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