Where do typical Italian dishes come from?

The Italian kitchen



The roots of Italian cuisine go back to the 4th century BC. BC back. It was influenced by the Etruscan, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and Arabic cuisine. Important innovations arose after the colonization of America with the introduction of new ingredients such as potatoes, peppers and especially tomatoes.
Italy is a large country inhabited by different ethnic groups with different climatic and geographical conditions. This, but also the changeful historical fate, has ensured that the individual regions - not infrequently also individual cities and towns - have produced very different culinary specialties. On the other hand, many dishes that were previously only known in their region of origin have now spread across the country.
The most important characteristic of traditional Italian cuisine is its simplicity, with numerous dishes made up of just a few ingredients. The Italian chefs (and cooks) rely more on the quality of the ingredients than on the number and elaborate preparation. The recipes were created more often by grandmothers and mothers than by restaurant chefs and are therefore made for the "cucina casalinga“(Home cooking). Many traditional dishes, which have become “specialties” over time, come from the simple cuisine of the farmers and the less well-off classes.
To this day, Italian cuisine has remained an unadulterated cuisine that uses natural ingredients. Vegetables, cheese and wine play an extremely important role in it, as do cold-pressed olive oil.


Regional diversity, high quality of the products and an awareness of tradition are the pillars of Italian cuisine. The fourth, no less important pillar is the attitude of Italians towards food. Most Italians still have an understanding of food that is largely absent in Central Europe. They attach great importance to it, they talk about it a lot, they don't see food as a “filler” but want to enjoy it. You spend a lot of time eating. It is not without reason that it comes from Slow food-Movement from Italy.
The view that the upscale French cuisine of modern times is due to Italian influences, or to the Italian chefs of Catherine of Medici(Caterina de 'Medici) is no longer shared by some cultural historians today. The fact is that Catherinebelonging to the influential Florentine family of the Medici came from, on the occasion of her marriage to Henry II, the later one King of France, in 1547 brought the entire school of Tuscan cuisine, which was already highly developed at that time, to the French court.
It is narrated that Catherine Bred 50 Florentine cooks as trousseau and introduced foods and dishes such as artichokes, aspic, puff pastry, broccoli, peas, candied fruits, caramel pudding, lettuce, cakes, pasta, parsley, scaloppine, sorbets, ice cream, spinach, cream puffs, and zabaglione. Caterina also introduced the order of the courses and the cutlery that is still common today at the French court.


According to tradition, an Italian meal consists of several courses. First comes an appetizer ("antipasto", Then" il primo "(the first course, usually a pasta or rice dish) and only then"il secondo“(The main course, which consists of meat or fish). In the past, this was an absolute order to be followed, especially in restaurants. The end is made by fruit and / or cheese ("frutta“ / „formaggio"), Flour or desserts rather seldom. Whether you eat every meal nowadays in Italy Antipasto, Primo and Secondo eats? Certainly not always, except on special occasions. But just as little is a plate of pasta on the table alone.

Italian cuisine abroad
Italian cuisine has had a stronger influence on the development of eating habits than any other cuisine in the world over the past few decades. A new interest in Mediterranean and especially Italian cuisine has awakened - especially in Central Europe - which is based on health motives and which Italian kitchen understands as the epitome of low-meat, fish, fruit and vegetable-rich diet.
Italian restaurants are ubiquitous outside of Italy too. Among other things, this development has resulted in a general adjustment to local eating habits out of consideration for local tastes, which has led to the falsification of traditional Italian cuisine.


Paradoxically, one of the reasons for the falsification of the dishes in the restaurants is their simplicity. It is not uncommon for diners to believe that a good dish must be rich in ingredients, and the chef is tempted to add more ingredients to make the dish more complex and “customizable”. For example, the simple "Pizza Margherita", Which should only be topped with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, ordered less often than a"Pizza with everything"Or you get them" enriched "with ingredients that do not belong on it. Above it, a small bowl with a garlic or other sauce is placed on the table - to "improve the taste". A bad habit that does not exist in Italy at all.
Just garlic is presented as one of the most typical ingredients of Italian cuisine (garlic bread, garlic sauces, etc.). Garlic does not play a major role in Italian cuisine, but not as much as it is in Italian restaurants abroad.

The typical Italian separation of "primo" and "secondo“Is not helpful in those countries where the complete meal is deeply rooted. This leads to the fact that the pasta dishes in the Italian restaurants in these countries become the "Supersize"-Become a court.

Another characteristic of Italian food culture is the lesser importance attached to meat over vegetables. Both are considered equivalent in Italy. But because meat is given the main priority in many countries and a dish without meat is seen as “poor”, it becomes absurd that in many Italian restaurants abroad also “il secondo“Becomes the sole feeder. Or meat is added to the pasta dish for the devil ("Spaghetti with meat balls“).
Forms a curiosity Argentina, a country where 36% of the population is from Italy and where pizza is mostly buried under a sea of ​​indefinable cheese.
“Italian” recipes on the Internet: I can only warn against that! Not that some of them cannot be original and tasteful, but the adjective “Italian” shouldn't be used for most of them. Almost all of them suffer from too much imagination or from overloading with ingredients that have no place in them. So you can find a "Pizza Margherita" With Tilsiter or Gouda cheese and "Spaghetti Alla Carbonara" with cream. The original recipe for "Spaghetti all'Amatriciana“Contains neither onion nor garlic and certainly not basil! In general, the trend is that everywhere garlic is put into it, and that basil as a super-Italian spice must not be missing anywhere.