Buongiorno! Who doesn’t love Italian food? Italy is a stunning country with a cuisine loved all around the world. A country with a rich history and an abundance of famous delicacies and dishes to enjoy. Whether it’s a tasty lasagne, a classic carbonara or a perfectly made pizza – there’s something for everyone and we owe a lot to Italy when it comes to food. Recipes often get passed down from generation to generation and hold onto their authentic roots along the way.
Italian food has developed its distinctive taste over centuries. Historically and today, food and culture are a very important part of what makes Italy so unique. Throughout its regions, the styles of cooking are influenced by the fresh, local ingredients available to hand.
The Courses – Appetisers, Pasta, Meat
A traditional Italian menu is broken down into antipasti (appetisers), primi (pasta – first course) and secondi (meat – second course) along with contorni (sides) and dolci (desserts) to finish. More extensive menus may separate the sections into terra (land) and mare (sea).
Pasta – Over 600 Different Shapes!
Believe it or not but there are more than 600 varieties of pasta shapes produced. At least one for every different pasta dish out there. Pasta comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, filled and unfilled.
At the Culinary Food Group we know gluten free pasta is also very popular and is available in most restaurants and supermarkets. We offer our customers various different varieties of pasta including gluten free, vegan and free-from options.
Whilst pasta is a staple food in Italy and we typically think it was invented there, it was actually first eaten in China. The first reports of pasta in China date back as early as 5,000 B.C. and in Italy around 500 B.C.
The Italian Regions
There are 20 regions in Italy and each region has its own take on classic Italian dishes and its own specialty dishes.
In the North of Italy traditional dishes revolve around hot soups like minestrone and vegetables such as radicchio. Potatoes are also quite common and regularly integrated into recipes in northern regions.
Central regions are famous for incorporating their local mushrooms and truffles into their cooking – this is particularly the case in Umbria. Gorgeous homemade specialty pasta including paste fresche, spaghetti alla chitarra and maccheroni seasons with various sauces and meats are popular at the centre of Italy.
Heading further south the food takes on a more Mediterranean feel with fish and shellfish found in many pasta dishes. Pizzas are slightly thinner than in the north.
Mozzarella and other diary products are exceptional in the South of Italy and considered to be specialities.
If you are looking for fresh or frozen, filled or unfilled pasta, please get in touch with our team. We would be delighted to discuss Italian inspired recipes and dishes using our pasta, sauces or stock!