5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Unless you grew up with an Italian family - or one well-versed in culinary cultures for that matter - Italian food probably meant spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and the occasional chicken parmesan thrown in here, there and every other Tuesday.
But the cuisine of the boot-shaped country is more - oh so much more, in fact. From the to artichokes of Venice (fondi di carciofo) to the Piemonte region's penchant for truffles, Italy on a plate is as much of a melting pot as the United States is.
And its culinary heritage has been shaped by a series of fortunate events that chef Marco Frattaroli of Bastas Trattoria in Portland, Oregon, has kindly summed up.
Top Five Events That Changed the Course of Italian Cuisine: Marco Frattaroli
2. Appreciation of regional diversity
As an example, Northern Italy is traditionally known for its cured meats and aged cheeses, and uses butter to cook with. In contrast, in Southern Italy the cuisine tends to use more vegetables, red sauces and olive oil. These differences, in a broader sense, are both climatic and cultural, and are a good example of Italian passion for food and its regionality."
3. Discovering The Americas
4. Unification of Italy
5. The World Wide Web
For example, I recently ran across a blog that revived an age-old recipe from peasants that worked for feudal landlords. After harvest, they were allowed to collect the discarded burnt chaff and make pasta out of it. Historic recipes like this intrigue people, and access to them has revived interest in Italian food."
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