Ever since my first visit for a week long vacation to this country, I´ve had a desire to return and to explore the country, culture and cuisine. This, together with the fact that the italian cuisine is of great importance around the world, and by many used as a base for cooking (along with the french cuisine) made me finally decide to set out to gain some more international experience.
I surely had a vision about the italian food and cooking and I´ve been both plesantly surprised but also had some minor disappointments.
Even the simplest things can be outrageously good - that shows how important good, high quality ingredients really are.
Italy is an amazing food country! People are so passionate about their food!
Food is one of the absolutely most important things in this country (a country that is really built on three things - family, food and soccer.)
“La cucina della nonna” (Grandma´s cooking) is considered the highest grade of nirvana and tradition rules the kitchen!
Food does not just keep italians alive, it also works as a cultural anchor.
Every single person always has a story to tell about food memories - how their nonna used to make the ravioli filled with ricotta, or rabbit alla cacciatora or how they went hand in hand with nonno down the road to get a bottle of wine for the sunday lunch with the whole family gathered. Here, food really has a place in the heart of everyone.
The philosophy to only use the very freshest ingredients in season, using simple flavors and seasonings that complements each other, makes for really good dishes, and a lot of easily comprehendible “comfort food”.
It´s no wonder that it was here in Italy that the Slow Food movement was born. Here the food, the meal, the act of eating, is allowed to take its time and it´s taken seriously. The meal is nothing less than a holy moment of the day. Much of the socializing is also done around the sharing of meals.
Furthermore Italy is a very interesting country food wise since every region, well almost every town, has their own way of cooking and their own tradition. Using locally grown produce and recipes passed down through generations, the italians feel proud about their cooking. Some of the traditions date back to the Romans, Greek and even the Etruscans.
The distinctive regional styles are much due to the geography, with various climates, and to the fact that Italy was not unified as a country until 1861.