January 30th, 2014
12:30 AM ET
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One reason Sicilians tend to identify with Sicily first and Italy (a distant) second?

Sicilian food.

The same goes for Veneto in the north or Puglia in the south.

Italy is a young country - it only celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2011.

Despite the successful export of the "Italian restaurant," the idea of a unified Italian cuisine is something many Italians reject.

Instead there are regional dishes, sometimes with tastes as different as you'd find between countries.

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Filed under: Italian • Italy

October 10th, 2013
03:15 PM ET
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World-renowned chef, author and Emmy-winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Sicily in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, October 13, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.

Mangia! Mangia! Anthony Bourdain follows Michael Corleone's footsteps to savor the Sicilian way of life.

The usual suspects are there: wine, salume, olives, cheese and, of course, pasta. In this case, tossed with a fresh haul of sardines from the Mediterranean.


May 21st, 2013
09:45 AM ET
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Despite unemployment being close to 12%, Italians are snubbing traditional jobs like pizza-making.

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Filed under: Italy • Pizza

In Bologna, arrive hungry
November 6th, 2012
07:00 AM ET
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Incredible architecture and art are splendid and interesting enough but when I go to Italy, I want to eat.

Which is why, after a dozen trips to the country, I decided to settle into the city of Bologna for a few weeks and consume as much as I possibly could.

Now, every Italian will tell you that their region makes the best food. But for many, the best Italian food comes from the region of Emilia-Romagna, of which Bologna is the capital. Meat ragu, tortellini, lasagna, parmigiano cheese, mortadella, coppa and balsamic vinegar - all have roots here and the resulting regional dishes are truly sublime.

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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • Bite • Italy • Travel

August 9th, 2012
04:45 PM ET
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I thought I knew how to make eggplant Parmesan (or ParmiGIANa if you're feeling especially Italian). Eggplant, a little breading, sauce, cheese – what can go wrong with that?

Then I met Chiara Lima. She's the bubbly Italian woman who taught the best way to make this traditional Italian favorite at Mamma Agata's Italian cooking class I recently took in Ravello, Italy.

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Filed under: How To • Italian • Italy • Make • Recipes • Staples • Techniques & Tips

5@5 - Surprising components of the Italian dinner table
April 2nd, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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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.

The Italian food most Americans love - spaghetti and meatballs, baked ziti, sausage and peppers - is as red-blooded (and red-sauced) American as it is Italian.

In authentic Italian food, whole fish, game and offal are customary; and a great deal of the country's culinary landscape embraces cocina povera, or “peasant cooking," as well as living off the land's fresh fruits and vegetables.

This simplicity - sometimes from unexpected ingredients - plays a key part in living la dolce vita, according to David Rocco.

Rocco is an Italian cookbook author and the host of “David Rocco’s Dolce Vita” and "David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway” on the Cooking Channel.

Five Surprising Components of the Italian Dinner Table: David Rocco

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Italy • Think • Travel

July 25th, 2011
04:30 PM ET
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It's July - you've got basil coming out the wazoo - what to do? It's the herb that just keeps giving - and this time of year, the more you pick, the more it grows. Here's an idea: make like the Italians and whip up some bulk pesto to freeze and use throughout the year.

Follow along as one Italian chef reveals the perfect pesto for the proliferation of basil taking over your backyard.


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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • Italian • Italy • Make • Recipes • Travel

In Mumbai, rooftop gardens take root
October 28th, 2010
05:15 PM ET
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Travel by train on the Western line and you'll see them: rows of lettuce and other greens grown on the edge of the railway track using fertilizer of dubious provenance.

Despite Mumbai being an over-populated concrete jungle, there are still many humble corners where people grow food. Your balcony could be the next such space.

There are plenty of reasons why you should consider becoming a city-dwelling green thumb.

Growing crops makes your terrace or balcony greener, it provides a fresh supply of organic food, it reduces the environmental impact of food transportation and it makes you that extra bit more independent from your local market and food inflation. It also cools down your flat and increases oxygen content - a welcomed perk for those living in this hot, polluted city.


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Filed under: Italy • Local Food • News • Rooftop Gardening • Travel

Something's fishy about this meal
August 20th, 2010
06:00 AM ET
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It was a case of mistaken identity. He was not who he said he was. Or, maybe I just heard his name wrong.

“Vorrei la trippa,” I declared in broken Italian, sitting on my hands to prevent myself from making a Godfather-esque hand kiss and consequently embarrass my Calabrian ancestors.

The last of the antipasti misti carnage was being cleared from our table in the center of the wood-paneled room at Ristorante Tre Galline in Torino, Italy. It was time for the main event of the classic Piemontese feast and I couldn’t wait for that fine piece of fish.

As the waiter walked toward the table with a steaming bowl neatly balanced on his forearm, Handel's “Hallelujah Chorus" unwittingly started blasting in my head.  Dinner was about to get served - and so was I.

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Filed under: Bite • Ingredients • Italy • Meat • Travel

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