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The Basics Of Italian Culinary Heritage

Updated on October 27, 2009

Many people think that Italians have one of the most decadent cuisines on the planet. Perhaps it is because Italian cooking is filled with so many delectable flavors and textures that it is absolutely sinful, or perhaps it is the vibrant colors in each and every traditional dish. Indeed, if you want to analyze Italian cuisine it in that manner then it can be deduced that the entire heritage is quite decadent, and even luxurious. But did you know that Italian cooking is one of the simplest and least expensive cuisines there are in the world? That is because Italian cuisine developed organically according to whatever fresh foods were available in each region, thus has a very limited reliance on expensive imported ingredients!

Italy is world famous for its cuisine and justifiably so. Probably you have already sampled Italian food in one of the many Italian restaurants dotted around the world. If you like Italian food do not deprive yourself of the opportunity of enjoying a meal while sitting in one of Italy's famous piazzas, or in a small restaurant tucked away in a little side street in a historic quarter of Italy's towns or villages, or looking out over a sunlit bay or mountains covered in snow or the green grass of spring. Each region has its own specialties that can be sampled only by eating in the region.

In Italy eating is a way of life based on a century's old gastronomic tradition of cooking fresh products in season, to ensure the full taste and flavor of the food. Forget for a few days about rushing and eating in a hurry. In Italy, eating is an experience to be enjoyed and is too important to be rushed, so sit at your table, enjoy the view and watch the world go by while you sample Italy's food accompanied by one of the wines for which Italy is world famous.

There are wines to suit all tastes and remember as you sample one of the many wines on offer, that this too is culture, Italian wine has been made in the same way for hundreds of years. Wine from Sicily and Puglia that has absorbed all the Mediterranean sun, wines from Lazio and Tuscany whose names maintain their links with antiquity, sparkling wines from Romagna, full bodied wines from Piemonte, Lombardia, Veneto, Trentino and Friuli, and to finish, a glass of spumanti, dry or sweet, to suit your taste.

Beware of something that is generally addressed as the New Italian Cuisine. New Italian Cuisine isn't New, it isn't Italian, and it isn't Cuisine. It's mostly overpriced, under portioned, under seasoned pig slop that looks oh so great when a plate the size of an Iveco grille is placed on your table with three quarters of an ounce of a really attractively arranged that would starve a sparrow. My suggestion is that whenever you are dining in any Italian restaurant when they present you with this junk along with a bill in the three figure Euro heights is that you march into the kitchen to see the chef and slap him out.

Italian cuisine is above all a confluence of heritage, tradition, and the freshness of sun blessed strictly local ingredients. Italian cuisine doesn't have to be modernized and bastardized in order to be delectable. When savoring Italian cuisine, it is far better to leave well enough alone and enjoy the phenomenal flavors and textures which have satisfied diners through the centuries!


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