Nothing can match the unique taste of authentic Italian cuisine in Raffles Place. 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 Raffles Place. 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 Raffles Place 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.
Italian Cuisine And Singapore History
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 Raffles Place 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 popular in many countries, and particularly in North America. Pasta is a staple in many households. Many Italian meals are easy and economical to prepare yourself, with ingredients commonly found in many households. In addition to this, children usually love to eat such things as pizza, ravioli and spaghetti. For these reasons, Italian cuisine is a good choice for dinner at home.
Like many countries in Europe, the cooking methods vary from one region to the next, but all areas have a few things in common. Cheese is a common ingredient, particularly parmesan and mozzarella, as well as olive oil and a variety of pastas.
Pasta meals are often served with a rich tomato sauce. Italy grows wonderful plum tomatoes which add great flavor, and are considered to be the best tomatoes to use for making a delicious sauce. A lighter meal is the primavera, served with lots of vegetables, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. This is usually a vegetarian meal, but may include chicken or sausage. The pesto sauce uses basil and oil and goes well with one of the smaller pastas such as penne.
Risotto is Italian rice that is cooked in a broth and cheese and onion are often added for extra flavor. This is sometimes used as an appetizer but often accompanies a meat dish.
Although many types of meat are used, some of the most common are sausages, salami and chicken. Prosciutto is an Italian ham, used in a variety of ways but often in salads or panini sandwiches. Because it is very thin it is not easy to use in cooking unless it's a topping for pizza.
Italian desserts range from the light and refreshing gelato to the much more elaborate and rich tiramisu. Spumoni ice cream combines the flavors of different ice creams and may include nuts.
Italian restaurants can be found is most cities around the world, and include everything from fast food places that serve pizza by the slice to more elaborate dining. Because a lot of the cooking uses common ingredients, many of these restaurants are reasonably priced, making them family friendly. They can be a great choice for those who like to dine out once in awhile but are on a limited budget.
There are some interesting facts about Italian cuisine you may not be aware of. It has developed over many centuries and is one of the most popular and widely regarded cuisines in the world today. The Espresso coffee had its beginnings in Italy over 100 years ago. Today this hot beverage is loved by many, and espresso home machines are an item found in homes.
Italy is the biggest wine producer in the world. The country has twenty wine regions producing both red and white, which are great to serve or enjoy along with a traditional Italian meal. Since they produce so much wine, it's not surprising they are also the biggest exporter of this product in the world.
Italian food offers a variety of things to please almost everyone. It's a great choice for dining out, or if you want something fast and delicious to make at home.
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.
Italian Cuisine: Style as Well as Substance
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 Raffles Place.
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.
Italian Regional Cuisine - Firenze Style
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).
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.
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.