The essence of authentic Italian cuisine has always been and will always be simplicity. Like most national cuisines, it is characterized by distinct dishes that feature ingredients and preparation methods distinct to the region. All 20 provinces across the country offer unique gastronomic experiences, but simplicity is a trait all regional cuisines share.
The diverse climates and terra rossa occurring across Italy’s 20 regions afford the Mediterranean diet with finite varieties of agricultural products and foodstuffs. While it’s no contest, every region has something world-class to offer. Lombardy is famous for its butter-based cooking, such as risotto alla Milanese and polenta alla Milanese.
Each region produces its own portfolio of authentic and high-quality food products, from cheeses, wines, bread, olive oil, hams, sausages, produce, and condiments, most of which are protected by the PDO scheme drafted by the European Union. This means that wherever you are in the world, you will be getting the same slice of Parmigiano-Reggiano made from selected provinces in Italy.
What makes Italian cuisine simple is that it highlights fresh, seasonal produce and authentic regional products that have been processed using simple, traditional methods. The cooking technique itself is simple. For example, Italian chefs and cooks prepare pasta dishes by tossing the cooked noodles with simple ingredients, such as butter or olive oil, garlic, herbs and tomatoes, and sometimes, shaved truffles or mushrooms.
The preparation is not usually complex or time-consuming, to make sure that the freshness and essence of the ingredients are preserved. The fresh, seasonal and regional ingredients are the highlight of any dish, and the cook only does as much as making the flavors and aromas more pronounced. Italians have a national love affair with farm-to-table freshness, which explains the abundance of farmers markets and craft stores.
The Mediterranean country is blessed with oceans teeming with marine life, vast mountainous regions, wonderful climates, rich soils and a vibrant culinary scene. Farmers, the great stewards of the land, passionately learn the traditions and keep them alive.
The great variety of ingredients and agricultural and seafood products, Italians have come up so many ways to prepare them. Pasta, a primary ingredient, has hundreds of varieties and comes in different shapes, lengths, and widths. Don’t even get started on Italian cheeses. The list of varieties is endless. And of course, pizza has its variants too and is prepared with different types of toppings, cheeses, and sauces.
Over the years, Italian cuisine has made its way across the globe. Almost every country now has its own version of classic Italian dishes. Because the recipes are simple and easy, and the preparation is quick, many professional chefs and amateur cooks have come to love them. Essentially, Italian cuisine has so many traditions and variations that are unique to the country, but it has the power to suit any palate.
Pizzeria Vecchia is proud to bring authentic Italian cuisine to Minnesota. We only offer the freshest food staples that truly capture the essence of classic Italian culinary traditions. Explore our menu or get in touch with us today.