Food represents a backbone of Italian culture, whose cuisine has developed through centuries of social and economic changes, with roots that date back to antiquity and can be claimed as early as the 4th century BC, when the first known writer of Italian food Archestratus of Syracuse wrote a poem in which he spoke of the use of "high quality and seasonal" ingredients. He also said that the flavors should not be masked by spices, herbs or other seasonings, and gave importance to the simple preparation of fish.
In fact, Italian cuisine is generally characterized by its simplicity. Italian cooks rely mainly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on an elaborate preparation and, for this reason, many recipes have only two or at most four main ingredients. Many dishes, which were once regional, have proliferated with variations throughout the country.
Another crucial element is its regional diversity, particularly between the north and south of the peninsula. It offers an abundance of taste and is one of the most popular and copied in the world, mainly in the
Starting from Liguria, fish and herbs are the basis of local gastronomy. Absolute emblem is perhaps the pesto, followed by savory pies with vegetables and focaccia. Going back to the Piedmont area, the use of butter and lard, the consumption of raw vegetables, the great variety of cheeses and the widespread use of truffles and garlic is noteworthy. In the small Val d'Aosta there is the absence of pasta, due to the lack of wheat. Oil is also of little use. Entering Lombardy, different provinces share their gastronomy in a common denominator: freshwater fish, milk, cheeses and butter, beef exudes, rice and corn. The Lombard cuisine is the cuisine of boiled and stewed meats, of sauces suitable to accompany polenta, of rice, stuffed pasta, butter and lard.
Leaving Lombardy and entering Trentino Alto Adige, there is still a little known cuisine: famous are the Tirtlen, fried tortellini, stuffed with spinach, sauerkraut and ricotta. Another interesting dish is the canederli soup with beef liver. Panada is a very popular soup in this region. Also important are the typical cold cuts and cheeses. Moving on to Friulian cuisine, it is very much affected by the morphology of the region that goes from the sea to the mountains and the diversity of cultures and populations that have inhabited it. Polenta, bean soups with barley or herbs, gnocchi and Canederli have plenty of space. The main calling card for Venetian cuisine is without a doubt the Baccalà and follow the radicchio. Closing with Emilia - Romagna, although administratively a single region, Emilia and Romagna deserve, at least from the gastronomic point of view, a clear distinction. The Emilian cuisine is solid, tasty and generous. It is also known as the Bolognese cuisine, a name that evokes restaurants and trattorias scattered throughout Italy, synonymous with abundant cuisine without jolts. The cuisine of Romagna, in comparison with the Emilian one, is much poorer and simpler. The poverty of this cuisine has been conditioned by the presence of small unstable lordships, with courts and canteens of no strong luster and then by the long domination of the State of the Church.
CENTER OF ITALY
Starting from Tuscan cuisine, it represents a sober, genuine and refined category. Skilfully exploits what the territory offers: fish and seafood on the Tyrrhenian coast, meat, eggs, vegetables (with black cabbage on the head) and dried vegetables (beans prevail) in the hinterland; chestnuts, mushrooms and potatoes near the Alps and the Apennines. The Marche is a meeting point between northern and southern gastronomy. Elaborate and refined cuisine, in the coastal area focuses on fish and seafood, cooked on a spit or in traditional brodetto; in the hinterland instead the main ingredient is meat, pork and wild boar, from which an excellent ham is obtained to be enjoyed in small pieces and the famous porchettache that the Marche thinks of their invention.
In Umbrian cuisine, seasonal products are always used, boiled, roasted and flavored with light and tasty extra virgin olive oil. Umbria offers fine products: the undisputed protagonist is the Norcia black truffle, ingredient of many first courses in the area. Equally important are the pork and wild boar meats, which have been skillfully transformed into cured meats by the Norcia butchers. The cuisine of Lazio is represented almost exclusively by Roman cuisine, in which all the specialties of the neighboring areas and the culinary traditions of the region converge, thus becoming a rich summary of a varied and popular cuisine. The Lazio cuisine is born from the union between the refined Jewish cuisine and the sort that developed around the slaughterhouses which has offal, pillows and other waste as protagonists. In the first courses the true essence of Roman cuisine is hidden. A real symbol of the Roman cuisine (even if it takes its name from Amatrice, in the province of Rieti) are the bucatini allaAmatriciana. Among the latter, the most characteristic dish of the Lazio cuisine is the Abbacchio.
Abruzzo cuisine is a cuisine with strong and robust flavors. The use of saffron is very widespread and is the basis of many Abruzzo dishes. Famous throughout the region are the maccheroni alla chitarra, seasoned with a pork and rabbit ragout, the tajarill, a long pasta made by hand with water and flour that is eaten with beans and pancetta and the fettuccine with Abruzzo pancetta, pecorino and basil. But the main protagonist of the Abruzzo culinary culture is undoubtedly the meat and especially the chicken. To close, the lamb is at the base of the so-called Arrosticini, the skewers which are cooked on a brazier with a characteristic elongated shape.
Molise and its territory is characterized by a vast mountainous area and a small strip located on the Adriatic coast. This territorial aspect is also reflected within the Molise cuisine where the culture of the pig dominates. On the short stretch of sea dominates the seafood cuisine made of soups, soups and risottos.
Starting from Campanian cuisine, the main ingredient is tomato, essential for pizza but also for ragù, or rraù, a typical Sunday dish and base for other equally tasty dishes, such as the typical lasagna. Going south and entering Basilicata, whose cuisine is traditionally a skilful combination of simple and genuine products, far from the sophisticated elaboration of modern cuisine. Suffice it to say that in the preparation of the dishes the only use of olive oil is contemplated, while the butter, burrino, is used as cheese. It is mostly a poor cuisine, which is based on the products of the earth, meat and dairy products deriving from sheep farms and pork.
Moving towards Puglia, you enter the maritime and terrestrial crossroads between East and West.
Even the Apulian cuisine is simple, linked above all to the work of the land, which does not know the contributions of the courts, but has developed typical dishes with many flavors and aromas. Four cornerstones of this gastronomy: oil, wheat, vegetables and fish. From the Adriatic coastal strip, all shrouded in beautiful olive groves, we get that oil that has a place of honor in the kitchen and that represents about a third of the total Italian production. The Calabrian cuisine is part of a rugged region, characterized by an ancient poverty, far from the big cultural centers and harassed for centuries by an economy of feudal type that has impoverished it of resources. In the Calabrian diet there is something sacred and ancient: every religious festival in Calabria has its food of devotion, every event of family life such as weddings, mourning, baptisms, has its own gastronomic fulfillment.
Leaving the boot to go to the islands, the Sicilian cuisine is considered one of the richest in specialties and scenography of Italy. Some of the most well-known foods, widespread not only regionally but even globally, are the Sicilian cassata, the iris, the Sicilian cannolo, the granita and the arancini. Thanks to its mild climate, the island is rich in spices and aromatic plants; oregano, mint, rosemary, are part of the Sicilian condiments every day. The fertile soil produces large quantities of oranges and lemons. Almonds, prickly pear, pistachio and olives are other culinary symbols in which the island excels. Finally, Sardinian cuisine is varied and diverse, ranging from roasted meats, to bread, cheeses, wines, seafood and land dishes, both peasant and pastoral derivation, game, fishing and collection of wild herbs . It is considered part of the Mediterranean diet, a nutritional model proclaimed in 2010 by UNESCO as an oral and intangible heritage of humanity.
Ten restaurants awarded the three Michelin stars that shine on the creations of Mauro Uliassi, from the restaurant of the same name in Senigallia, which joins the other nine big names in Italian catering, rise to ten. For 2019, three restaurants in the two-star category (41 Italian restaurants in all) are registered: Andrea Apreda's Vun at the Hotel Park Hyatt in Milan, La Siriola at the Hotel Ciasa Salares (also in San Cassiano , like the St. Hubertus) by Matteo Metullo and the Magnolia of Cesenatico (Forlì and Cesena) with the chef Alberto Faccani.
The other three stars are St. Hubertus in San Cassiano (Bz), Piazza Duomo in Alba, Da Vittorio in Brusaporto, Dal Pescatore in Canneto Sull'Oglio, Reale in Castel di Sangro, Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, Osteria Francescana in Modena, La Pergola in Rome and Le Calandre in Rubano.