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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

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