Nothing can match the unique taste of authentic Italian cuisine in Ang Mo Kio. 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 Ang Mo Kio. 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 Ang Mo Kio 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.
A List of the Most Popular Italian Pizzas
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 Ang Mo Kio 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.
When most people think about dining in an Italian restaurant, they get ready to order pizza or ravioli. Although these menu items can be delicious, they are not authentic cuisine from this region. Learn about foods that did not originate from this country to enable you to revise your selections accordingly.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Although long spaghetti pasta, tomato sauce, and seasoned meatballs top the list of Italian cuisine, this menu item did not originate in this country. In actuality, this entre was likely born in a New York Italian restaurant in the early 1900s. Overseas in Rome, people are fond of meatballs smothered in tomato sauce. The catch - they never eat this combination on pasta.
For a dish with a lighter flair, many people choose fettuccine Alfredo. This dish features a light and tasty cheese sauce that smothers long fettuccine noodles. In a Roman restaurant in 1920, the chef created this dish to appeal to the tastes of American visitors. In contrast, people of this region do not typically combine cream and pasta in their dishes.
Veal Parmesan involves layering veal, melted cheese, and pasta in a tantalizing dish. The reality is that authentic restaurants in Europe do not serve this dish. Combining melted cheese and meat is not a standard menu item for people in this region. It's common to eat these foods in the same meal, but never combined together in the same dish. The same goes for chicken - people from Italy simply never combine poultry with pasta. However, you might find seafood pasta in an authentic restaurant in Sicily, thanks to the local catches coming in off the water.
While garlic seems to be a major ingredient in these foods, authentic dishes are not garlic-heavy. It's the American fare that tends to feature prevalent amounts of garlic. Spreading slices of bread with olive oil or butter and garlic is not an authentic menu item, either. Garlic bread likely surfaced in America during the 1940s.
An Italian restaurant without cheesecake on the menu might seem out of place. In reality, the connection between cheesecake and Italy likely began in the United States. In southern regions of this European country, locals are partial to sweetened ricotta cheese. Chefs pipe this lightly sweetened cheese into cannolis or other delectable pastries. You might find cassata Sicilian in an authentic eatery, which is a sponge cake soaked in liquor with a layer of ricotta on top. Over the ricotta, you will find a layer of green almond paste and icing.
Look for Italian restaurants that feature menu items that do not cater to American palates. Remember, meats and pastas do not combine traditionally. If you find a dish that features both meat and pasta, this is food created for the American consumer. Italian food tends to be regional, according to the unique tastes and preferences of people in each region. To sample authentic cuisine of the entire country, you would need to travel to each individual city.
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.
The Influences of Italian Cooking
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 Ang Mo Kio.
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.
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?
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.
Authentic Italian Food and Deserts Corporate Get Together
It seems as if there are so many terms denoting Italian and you can hardly tell which from which. For instance, there are Sicilian restaurants. They are still Italian but somehow, they are called differently. You also have Venezian restaurants which are as Italian as the former, but most of the time both restaurants have very different dishes. This is because although we know all these restaurants as Italian, Italy has a number of regions. For every region, they have developed a certain way of cooking their food and they prefer their dishes in a different way that their neighboring regions. This numerous regional cuisines make up for a diverse Italian cuisine which can be both fun but confusing at the same time.
One of the famous regional cuisines is Tuscan cuisine. No doubt you have actually seen yourself staring at a restaurant that included the word Tuscan. From this region comes the city of Florence or Firenze in Italian. This city, aside from being the site of the world renowned Leaning Tower of Pisa, is also known for its local cuisine. Just like the general theme of the region's cuisine, Firenze cuisine is very simple. In the city, there is no prize waiting for experimentation. The Florentines like their food just the way their forefathers did.
If you enter a Firenze restaurant, you probably will see the word "ribollita" on the menu. This dish is a local variation of the dish called minestrone. The soup includes the freshest produce like carrots, potatoes, black cabbage and the Italian Cannellini beans (white kidney beans). This is soup is boiled twice to make it thicker and more flavorful, and is usually served with croutons or Tuscan bread. A nice drizzle of Olive Oil on top completes the very hearty soup.
Another Tuscan specialty is the "bistecca alla florentina" or the Florentine style beefsteak. This dish is made with either a T-bone or porterhouse steak which was traditionally obtained from the cattle of Chianina or Meremmana. This large piece of steak is seasoned with nothing else but salt, black pepper and olive oil, and then grilled using either wood or charcoal. Because this steak is too big for one person, with its standard weight being 1200 grams, this dish is usually shared among two people. The steak is traditionally served rare with a side dish of Tuscan beans and enjoyed with red wine.
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.
Italian cuisine has a huge variety of dishes and drinks: because Italy was not officially unified until 1861, and its cuisines reflect the cultural variety of its regions and its diverse history (with influences from Greek, Roman, Gaelic, Germanic, Goth, Norman, Lombard, Frank, Turkish, Hebrew, Slavic, Arabic and Chinese cuisines). Italian cuisine is savored in every corner of the world.
In a way, there is really no such thing as Italian cuisine in the way that people usually understand national cuisines. Each region has its own specialties. Italian cuisine is not only highly regionalized, it is also very seasonal. The high priority placed on the use of fresh, seasonal produce distinguishes the Italian cuisine from imitations available in most other countries.
Roman cuisine, for instance, uses a lot of pecorino (cheese made from sheep's milk) and offal, while Tuscan cuisine includes white beans, meat, and bread. Pizza making also varies throughout the country, the pizza crusts in Rome are thin and crispy, while Neapolitan pizza and Sicilian pizza have a thicker crust. The influence of Northern Italian cuisine can be seen in French and German cuisines. Piedmont and Lombardy each grow their own different kinds of rice, which are used to make risotto. The North of Italy is the home of polenta. Emilia-Romagna is known for lasagna and tortellini (stuffed pasta), Naples (Napoli) is the home of pizza, mozzarella cheese and pastries. Calabria's cuisine uses a lot of hot pepper in its renowned salami (which is common, in several varieties, throughout the country) and uses capsicum. Sicily is the home of ice cream but its cuisine also has many influences from Arab cuisine (lemon, pistachio) and also includes fish (tuna, swordfish). Sardinia is famous for lamb and pecorino.
Northern and Southern Italian cooking
Traditional Italian cuisine varies from region to region and does not follow North-South tendencies. Northern and southern Italian cuisines can be differentiated, primarily, by the north using more butters and creams and the south more tomato and olive oil. Generally, however, there is a strong difference between the regional use of cooking fat and traditional style of pasta. Inland northern and northeastern regions usually prefer more butter, cream, polenta, mascarpone, grana padano, and parmigian cheeses, risotto, lasagna and fresh egg pasta. Coastal northern and central regions are more of a link between north and south and often use tortellini, ravioli and are known for great prosciutto. The southern regions are known for mozzarella, caciocavallo, and pecorino cheeses, olive oil, and dried pasta. Southern Italian cuisine also uses the ubiquitous tomato.
Types of Italian coffee
Italian coffee (caffè), also known as espresso, which is a strong coffee prepared by forcing the hot water through finely ground coffee beans at high pressure. It is usually served in relatively small amount. Caffè macchiato is covered with a bit of steamed milk or whip cream; caffè ristretto is made with less water, and is stronger. Cappuccino is mixed or topped with steamed, mostly foamy, milk. It is generally considered a morning drink. Caffelatte is usually equal parts of espresso and steamed milk, like café au lait, and is typically served in a large cup. Latte macchiato (spotted milk) is a glass of warm milk with a bit of coffee.
We cannot talk about Italian food without talking about Italian wine. Most Italian wines of great names are produced in the three main Italian regions: Piedmont (Barolo), Venetia (Amarone, Pinot Grigio, etc.) and Tuscany (Chianti, Brunello). Other great wine producing regions such as Puglie (Primitivo) and Sicily also produce some noteworthy wines.
A traditional Italian meal:
1. Antipasto - hot or cold appetizers
2. Primo ("first course"), usually consists of a hot dish like pasta, risotto, gnocchi, polenta or soup. There are usually many vegetarian options.
3. Secondo ("second course"), the main dish, usually fish or meat (pasta is never the main course of a meal). Traditionally veal is the most widely used meat, at least in the North, although beef has become more popular since World War II.
4. Contorno ("side dish") may consist of a salad or vegetables. A traditional menu features salad after the main course.
5. Dolce ("dessert")
6. Caffè ("coffee") (espresso)
7. Digestive which consists of liquors/liqueurs (grappa, amaro, limoncello) sometimes called ammazzacaffè ("Coffee killer")
Although it is said that today the traditional Italian menu is reserved for special events even as the common menu only includes the first and second course, the side dish (often joined to the second course) and coffee (if not in a hurry). One remarkable aspect of an Italian meal, especially if eaten in an Italian home, is that the primo, or first course, is usually the more substantial dish, containing most of the meal's carbohydrates, and will consist of risotto or pasta. Modern Italian cuisine also includes single courses (all-at-once courses), providing carbs and proteins altogether (e.g. pasta and vegetables).