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Italy. Regions and Cooking of Italy. Food is core of cultural identity. Italian food. Mediterranean food is known for it’s healthy benefits Heart healthy ingredients Simple foods Fresh food grown locally Wines without preservatives Cheeses made and sold fresh Herbs and spices for flavor

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Regions and Cooking of Italy

Food is core of cultural identity

Food is core of cultural identity

Italian food

Italian food

  • Mediterranean food is known for it’s healthy benefits

  • Heart healthy ingredients

  • Simple foods

  • Fresh food grown locally

  • Wines without preservatives

  • Cheeses made and sold fresh

  • Herbs and spices for flavor

    • Bay leaf: used to flavor but not eaten

    • Basil, herb used in Pesto

    • Oregano, common herb in the Mediterranean and world wide now

    • Olives, and Olive oils

Northern italy

Northern Italy

LiguriaPiemonteLombardiaVenetoFriuli Venezia GiuliaVal d'AostaTrentino Alto Adige

Northern italy1


  • Butter primary cooking fat

  • French influence on foods

  • Desserts come primarily from this area, candy makers

  • Risotto, very little pasta

  • Minestrone soup from farmers “big Soup”

  • Polenta – where little meat available

  • Antipasto – trademark

  • Large number of cheeses

Earthy foods and farm produce

Earthy foods and farm produce

PiemonteLombardia Veneto

Central italy

Le Marche



Emilia Romagna

Central italy

Oils- Used in sweets and instead of butter, Grilled meats, vegetablesProsciutto-tradition

Southern italy

Southern Italy


Southern italy1

Southern Italy

  • Pasta

  • Sauces based on fish and vegetables

  • More vineyards but consumes less wine

  • Frittatas – use leftovers

Cheeses of italy

Cheeses of italy

Unique to the regions as the foods

Parmesan parmigiano

Parmesan - Parmigiano

Northern Italy * most popular * matures up to 2 years * curd cut and heated, salted



Lombardy region*Soft, white, cream cheese*Curd cheese*75% fat*Used in desserts



Southern Italy*”Milk of water Buffalos”*best if packaged in it’s own salty water*Introduced from India in 16th Century*Today, made from Cow’s Milk



Named for cheese made with sheep’s milk * Sharp flavor * (Rind) straw-white to dark brown color * Interior-while to pale yellow * drum shaped *made between November and late June



Oldest Italian Cheese * “Rummaging curd” –special method * 27% fat, 32% water

Pecorino romano

Pecorino Romano

Made in Rome * Grating Cheese * Sheep make milk only 6-7 months



Made from cow or sheep milk * Pure white, wet, not sticky

Olive oil

Olive oil

Very important to this region

Italian pasta

Italian pasta



Tubular: Ziti, Penne, Rigatoni

Shaped: Elbows, Shell, Orecchiette (round hats), Farfalle (bowtie), Fusilli (corkscrew), rotini

  • Round and Plain: Capellini ,Spaghetti

  • Flat: Linguine, fettuccini, tagliarelli

  • Lasagne

Meal patterns

Meal patterns

  • Breakfast

  • Light, includes tea, coffee, or chocolate with milk, bread and jam


  • Main meal eaten 1 o’clock

  • 4 to 5 course meal

  • appetizer, soup, fish or meat, vegetables, salad, fruit and cheese


  • Evening

  • light meal, pasta, fish, stew, rice, frittata or stuffed vegetables

Cultural influences

Cultural influences

  • Greeks – lasagna to southern Italy

  • Arabs – dried flour into pasta for long trips in the desert – Sicily

  • China – Marco Polo brought back the idea of spaghetti noodles

  • America – potatoes, pepper, white kidney beans

  • Mexico – tomato, first used as a vegetable in salad (small, cherry size), took

  • 200 years to develop into bigger varieties

  • Romans: First to introduce ice cream made with snow from the mountains

Italian cooking facts

Italian cooking facts

  • Each region is diverse making cooking difficult to categorize

  • Differences result from peasant heritage and geographical differences

  • Each Village is unique

  • All use some common ingredients with influences from around the world

  • All strive to use only the freshest ingredients

  • Pasta so valuable – 1279 was part of inheritance in an Italian will

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