Nothing can match the unique taste of authentic Italian cuisine in River Valley. For the people who are having it for the first time or the people who enjoy the dishes regularly, they would find a connection to the richness of Italian food, if the food made well. If not properly made, they can also tell the difference in the taste of the food and just by their appearance.
To make Italian food from scratch and making it good can be a daunting task for any newcomers and old veterans in River Valley. The newcomers don’t want to ruin the dishes, and the veterans want to stick true to the authentic taste that the dish offers. One of the unique things, if not, the most important unique thing, about Italian dishes are the carefully selected ingredients that go into making one. Every ingredient in an Italian dish is carefully examined to know the true nature of the ingredients, where it lacks flavor, what other ingredients can fill up that space with its own flavor.
It is the job of an Italian chef in River Valley to know all of these things beforehand to execute in the kitchen without any mistake. Ingredients such as Olive oil, it gets used in Italian food all the time. It adds the authenticate taste of an Italian dish and also by being healthy to consume. There is a saying that cooking with ingredients that are taken from the same region will result in a better taste.
What is Italian Cuisine and Why is it So Healthy For You?
Garlic, pasta, tomatoes, basil add the true nature of an Italian dish to the surface. What is so fascinating about these ingredients, that they are very common, and on the right hand they can bring more to the dish than thousands of rare material combined. A clove of garlic will bring all the hidden flavors from the dish, but can’t say the same thing to jarred garlic. Tomatoes, nearly every pizza, and spaghetti ever made on this planet have used tomatoes in one way or another. Basil, is another iconic ingredient in making Margherita pizza. There is a reason why the word basil is synonymous with King of herbs.
Another widely used ingredient in the Italian dishes are Rosemary, basil may be called King of herbs, but rosemary is known to be the queen. Rosemary really shines in a perfectly made risotto.
No Italian dish in River Valley would complete without the inclusion of wine. Wine in an Italian culture takes a significant role in making the cuisines and adds many more flavors to the dish. The wine gets used in the Italian dish is drinking wines, not cooking ones. If any ingredient doesn’t bring its own flavor then it is better left alone. Adding wine to a dish has long been a cultural identity for the Italians. If the wine isn’t fit to drink, then it would be no use in the making of an Italian dish, if used, then it wouldn’t be a genuine Italian product.
Italian cuisine is as varied as the regions of Italy. Although Italy was officially unified in 1861, the food reflects the cultural variety of the country's regions with culinary influences from Greece, Roman, Gallic, Germany, Turkish, Hebrew, Slavic, Arab, Chinese and other civilizations. In this sense, there really is no one Italian cuisine because each area boasts of its own specialties. Not only is the food of Italy highly regionalized, but a high priority is also placed on the use of fresh available produce.
Although traditional Italian dishes vary by region, they also do not follow strictly to a North/South pattern either. The north tends to use more butter, creams, polenta, mascarpone, grana padano and Parmigiano cheeses, risotto, lasagna and fresh egg pasta, while the south is more tomato and olive oil based cooking, along with mozzarella, caciocavallo and peconrino cheeses, and dried pasta. Coastal and central regions often use tortellini, ravioli and prosciutto in their cooking. Even pizza varies across the country. In Rome the crusts are thin and cracker-like, while Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas have a thicker crust.
For most Italians, pasta is the first course in a meal with the exception of the far north where risotto or polenta is the norm. Vegetables, grains and legumes play a regular part of many Italian diets with meat often not being a regular part of everyday meals, Olive oil is usually seen in its dark green state (from its first pressing) in the south, where in the north a more refined, golden oil is seen.
Basically, Italian cuisine consists of a combination of vegetables, grains, fruits, fish, cheeses and a some meats, with fowl and game usually seasoned or cooked with olive oil (with the exception of the far north). La cucina povera, the food of the poorer Italian people of the southern coastal area, has shaped a diet popular for centuries but now there is a resurgence of this "poor people's food", the Mediterranean diet, which is now being touted as the model around which we should restructure our eating habits.
Breakfast is considered a minor meal in Italy, often consisting of nothing more than a bread roll and milky coffee (café latte). Traditional lunches tend to be larger, have several courses and are eaten slowly. Italian children don't go to school in the afternoon, and because of the heat, many small businesses close from midday until about 4pm which makes lunch the social meal of the day.
The traditional menu structure in Italy consists of basically eight courses, but the long traditional Italian menu is typically kept for special occasions such as weddings, with everyday fare including only the first and second courses, with the side dish being served with the second course. As an exception to this order, a unique course, Piatto unico, can replace the first or second course with, for example, pizza.
The traditional menu consists of:
1. ANTIPASTO - which are hot or cold appetizers, literally it means "before the pasta"; consists of a varied combination of colorful foods. The most popular ingredients are melon or tomatoes served with prosciutto cut into very thin slices. Lettuce, such as the slightly bitter endives or rocket, or other green leaves, such as the aniseed-tasting fennel, are typically used as a garnish, placed around the edges of the serving dish. Salami, mortadella, coppa and zampone, manufactured meat products, are common in antipasti. The artistry of the food is as important to Italians as the taste. For example the reddish colour of salami provides a good contrast to the green lettuce. Fish and other seafood may also be used in the antipasti course and, of course, olives and artichokes are also common servings, as are mushrooms (fungi) seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
2. PRIMO (first course) - which usually consists of a hot dish such as pasta, risotto, gnocchi, polenta or soup, with many vegetarian options. There are many types of pasta, each type usually named after its shape with common types including spirali (spirals), farfalle (butterflies; sometimes described as 'bow-tie-shaped'). Penne (hollow tubes) and conchiglie (shells). Different shapes are supposed to be better with the different types of sauces. Spirals are two strips of pasta twirled around each other and are used with the heavier sauces, such as those containing minced meat and vegetables. Rigatoni is cylinders or tubes, with a wide diameter and grooves (or lines) on the outside. The grooves are supposed to hold the sauce onto the pasta, meaning that this pasta is good with runnier sauces. Then there is the group of pasta made up of long thin strands, which includes the most common type of pasta, spaghetti. Typically you eat this type of pasta by coiling its long thin strands around a fork. Other long thin pastas are tagliatelle, fettuccine and linguini, which are all varieties of flattened spaghetti. Extremely thin strands of pasta are called vermicelli (meaning 'little worms'). Yet another group of pasta is made of flat sheets (lasagna) or tubes (cannelloni), which are either layered or stuffed with meat and cheese fillings. Some pastas have 'pockets' to hold the sauce inside them instead of outside like ravioli or tortellini, which are soft sheets of pasta rolled around meat or cheese. Italians cook pasta of all kinds, whether fresh or dried, in boiling water until al dente ('to the teeth', meaning still a tiny bit hard in the centre. It is then served immediately in a bowl with sauce or cheese.
3. SECONDO (second course) - this is usually the main dish of fish or meat. Veal, pork and chicken are traditionally the most common and are often pan-fried or casseroled. Beef is used as steaks (bistecca), while lamb (agnello) is roasted on special occasions, such as Easter and Christmas. Fish and other seafood are often used as main courses.
4. CONTORNO (side dish) - this may be a salad or cooked vegetable. Salad is traditionally served with the main course. Common vegetables are beans (greens and pulses), potatoes (often sautéed), and carrots as well as salads.
5. FORMAGIIO AND FRUTTA (cheese and fruit) - this is the first dessert course and the fruit and cheese are usually served together. Grapes, peaches, apricots and citrus fruits are a major product of Italy's agricultural industry and are common.
6. DOLCE (dessert) - the cakes and cookies course Italians produce many sweet desserts and 'sweet treats', including Amaretti, almond-flavoured meringues, which Australians call macaroons, Panforte, a sweet semi-hard 'strong bread' based on nuts and containing dried fruit (a classic Christmas treat from Siena), and. Pannettone, a very rich bread-cake (another Christmas treat).
7. CAFFÉ (coffee) - which is usually espresso coffee
8. DIGESTIVE (liqueurs) - which may be grappa, amaro, or Limon cello. The wine industry has been important to Italy for centuries and the most common drink associated with Italy is wine. Until recently, and even now in the countryside, most Italians would make their own red or white house wine after the grape harvest. This would be drunk at every lunch and dinner. Even children are given wine to drink, but it is usually watered down with mineral water. Before dinner many Italians drink an amaro (bitter) to stimulate the digestive system, while after dinner they may drink sweet wines, such as marsala (from Sicily). Children are also sometimes given Marsala, beaten with a raw egg and sugar into zabaglione, to strengthen them.
Modern pizza has evolved from pizzas made by peasants in Naples, Italy, but more than a few Mediterranean peoples can claim to have 'invented' the pizza. In ancient times many civilizations created dishes of flat bread with various herbs and toppings. As a staple for the poor, it was a matter of necessity that food could be eaten without utensils, and that the 'plate' it was served on could be eaten as well. They made a bread crust from flour, water and yeast, topped it with olive oil, herbs, cheeses, sometimes even leftovers, and baked the whole thing in a stone oven.
Given that most pizza connoisseurs today consider the tomato sauce to be the key ingredient, it may be surprising that pizza pre-dates the introduction of tomatoes to Europe. Tomatoes reached Italy by way of Spain in the early 1500s but were thought to be poisonous. It was several decades later that tomatoes topped a flatbread in the form of a pizza.
Italian cuisine is very popular in all its forms and is imitated all over the world. Wouldn't you like to include Italian cuisine in your kitchen today?
Cooking with these ingredients in a perfectly well manner style to bring out the richness of the ingredient is like learning a new language by normal interaction. The more you interact with others, the more you will get better at speaking. The same method can be applied here, learning Italian cuisine is a lot like learning a new language. And each ingredient becomes the grammar and the vocabulary for your final dish, which can be seen as a sentence in this metaphor.
History Of Italian Cooking In Asia
The first thing to do before starting to cook with the ingredients you have is to limit them. Almost all Italian dishes use a finite amount of ingredients to make the dish, overloading with unnecessary spices will put out the subtle taste of the natural ingredients. Learning the value of each of the ingredients will help you know their weaknesses and strength, finding a better ingredient to fill the weakness of another is the step to become a great Italian restaurant in River Valley.
The second thing to do is to make sure every ingredient in the pantry is fresh and well-seasoned. This process really helps to bring the dish closer to the authentic Italian dish that we know and love.
When cooking pasta, make sure to leave it a little undercooked, so the pasta can still have the bite factor. Otherwise, everything on the plate would be soggy and wet. Frequent tasting the pasta before serving will help you get to know the dish better and understand the time management of the sogginess of the pasta.
When people think of Italian cooking, most think about pasta and pizza pies. However, there are so many more dishes and influences that inspire those dishes. The history of the Italian people, as well as Italy's geographical location, both contribute to the types of food. Italian culture is shown through its cuisine.
There are about 20 regions in Italy and different types of food can be found in each one. Long ago it was difficult for Italians to travel to other regions within Italy. This resulted in distinct styles and ways to prepare food in each region as few people were exposed to other types of cooking. So even though Italy does not seem to be a very large nation geographically, it still has a wide range of flavor.
Northern and southern Italy are very different in climate. The south has very warm weather while in the north the weather is cold. Dry pasta, like spaghetti and rigatoni, is found more in the southern areas because it is easier to dry in warm weather. Since it was more difficult to prepare dry pasta in the north, pastas like tajarin, pappardelle, and tagliatelle were more popular. Other types of pasta popular in the north were stuffed pastas like ravioli.
The climate also affected the types of food and plants that could grow in Italy. Some plants, like olive oil, grew better in warm weather, so in southern Italy olive oil was used a lot. Olive trees did not grow well in the northern areas where it was cold. Butter and lard were used in place of olive oil.
Tomatoes are another kind of plant that grows better in warm climate. In southern Italy cooking tomatoes are used heavily along with red sauces. Broccoli raab and eggplants are two other types of plants that grow well in warmer weather. Vegetables that thrive in colder climates like in the northern areas are black leaf kale, radicchio, cardoons, and cabbage.
Along with climate, economy plays a role in Italian cooking. Another staple in Italy older than pasta and pizza is polenta. It is commonly used today, but long ago it was popular among the poor in Italy. Polenta was easy to make and prepare in Italy.
The countries that border Italy like France and Austria also has an influence over Italian cuisine. Other foreign influences include Spain, England, and Arabic countries. These countries occupied specific areas of Italy throughout history.
With all the different kinds of Italian food it is important in the Italian culture to savor and enjoy the different tastes. Meals are an important way for Italian families to bond by sitting down to a ten course meal that could last around three hours. Since getting the tastes is important and because there are so many courses, the size of each plate is much smaller.
You can follow all the rules in the textbook to create a perfect Italian dish but you won’t reach the final stage of an Italian dish without putting your heart in it. It is never about pleasing the crowd with Italian dishes, it has always been sticking to the original recipe, you can have all the ingredients but it won’t be complete without putting the heart and soul in cooking. Knowing who you are cooking for, what do they like the most, then creating the dish made especially for them will taste better.
Cooking School - Your Best Bet To Learn Italian Cuisine!
Most people will recognize pasta and pizza - two of the most popular dishes that form part of the Italian cuisine. However, Italian cuisine has a lot more to offer than just these two well known dishes. Most importantly, Italian cuisine also has a rich and tempting history - just like the different dishes that form part of its offerings.
All over the land of Italy, all the Italians always maintain a distinctive cooking habit or style that shines in their eating habits, their styles of preparing a meal and the way they select local ingredients. Right from the pre-Roman era till date the Italian food history has gone through a considerable change.
In the ancient times, the preparation of food was very important. One of the ancient and surviving cookbooks is known as the Apicus. The Apicus dates right back to 1st century BC.
It was after the downfall of the Romans that the spread of the Italian cuisine began. Individual states started to uphold their separate traditions and identities. Every region started its own special and unique method of cooking, from the very basic preparation of the meatballs to characteristic varieties of cheeses and also the wine produced in any locale.
For example Northern states developed the Tuscan beef, on the other hand black truffles was prepared in Marches, and the very famous Mozzarella and Provolone cheeses developed in South, simultaneously being the host of a lot of citrus fruits.
There were varieties in bread, pasta, and other different food preparation methodologies according to the region. The eating habits were also a total contrast as the people in Southern Italy loved hard-boiled spaghetti, but those from the North preferred the soft-egg noodles.
Different cities started to become famous for their specialties like Milan for Risotto, Bologna for Tortellini, while Naples for Pizzas.
In these past few years the Italian cuisine evolved greatly due to the wealth from outside influences which added a flavor and an appeal. The ancient Greeks with their wealthy imports from various places added an exotic ingredients and spices to the Italian cuisine.
The Coastal regions of Italy are popular for delicious seafood and fish. For example, while Sardinia has a traditional style of cooking that includes foods such as Swordfish, anchovies, lobster, sardines, etc, Sicily has heavy North-African influences.
Even today the varieties in Italian cooking show distinctions between the northern and the southern style of cooking. Each and every region carries their traditions reflecting deeply in history. This wonderful culture with never-ending preparations of appetizers, main-courses, and desserts that will always continue to tempt our taste buds.
Rushing the stages of cooking is a bad way to cook Italian food. Cooking something good takes time, if not, the dish would come off under cooked and as the dish wouldn’t have much time to fully utilize all the ingredients in it. The end result would not match the standard quality. It is recommended to savor the moment because Italian dishes are more than just average fast food.
There is a rigorous process must be followed to create a perfect Italian dish. The addition of any new ingredients might spoil the genuineness of the dish. Italian cuisines leave much more than just a taste, they offer the traditional food aroma, the very quality of taste of the ingredients, and just by being healthy. Since there is no inclusion of any chemicals to appeal to a larger audience, the food can far away from reaching for the fast-food processed taste. Authenticity adds much more value to Italian food than just being another thing to eat while hungry.
Yes Italy is famous for its history. Yes Italy is a famous tourist destination and Italians are very famous for their lifestyle too. But is that all you know of Italy? No, of course you must have heard of the famous Italian cuisine and must have tasted the mouth watering Spaghetti Bolognese or Panini with rich tomatoes and basil. Italian cuisine is famous globally and is very easy to cook too. Every country you visit you will come across an Italian restaurant and Italian fashion.
The villas surrounding the mountains of Tuscany and the outskirts of Rome offer some great holidays where you can taste the famous wines and Italian food. One can learn to cook Italian dishes while you are here. Makes a great place for holiday.
Today more and more people prefer to spend their holidays in Italy and neighboring regions and more often you see the young crowd who are interested in cooking making a beeline to these places. The air tickets getting cheaper by the day has helped increase the traffic to this region and made it affordable for people.
You will find that most of the cottages and villas where you are likely to stay are all situated close to the airport and doesn't take long to reach. You can make a request and they often do send a car to meet you at the airport.
Holidays are made to suit different budgets and can be short ones lasting a few days to longer ones lasting a few weeks. Cooking sessions are a part of such holidays too.
Depending upon your availability of time and budget you can choose between a short holiday of a week or longer holiday comprising of a few weeks. Cooking sessions are included in both.
Once you have done your booking, you can look forward to spending days under the guidance of Italian chefs at the villa and learning to cook Italian dishes the Italian way. End of the day you can enjoy your dinner with the dishes you have cooked and sample your own cooking with wine thrown in of course.
While you are learning to cook authentic Italian food and dishes, use the opportunity to have fun and exercise too. Explore the surrounding areas and indulge in water sports and other activities and enjoy your holiday.
You can either spend a few days learning cooking and then explore other cities and town by extending your holiday and trying out different things or you can stay in the quiet villas learning and noting down recipes of more Italian dishes that can help you become a world class Italian chef or a restaurateur tomorrow.