Food Culture and Tradition

Food, People and Culture Resources

Category: Italy

Foods of Lombardy

LOMBARDY The city of Milan, bustling and industrialized, dominates the plains of Lombardy. In the 1300s foods were sometimes gilded in the belief that gold was curative; the poor could not imitate this except by the use of saffron and the generous addition of golden butter to as many dishes as possible. This tradition is […]

Foods of Piedmont

PIEDMONT White truffles, fonduta, game dishes, risotto, and enticingly sweet desserts are the famous specialties of the region. So insistent are the Piedmontese on the freshness of produce that most families use the fresh-picked seasonal vegetables and herbs from their own backyard gardens. Many varieties of mushrooms are used and the special vegetables include cardi, […]

Food in Rome-Lazio

ROME-LAZIO While most of Italy balances its cooking between butter and olive oil, Rome prefers matured pork fat called strutto. In other ways Rome is different too: vegetables grown in the surrounding volcanic soil are said to have a distinct taste, and sheep, suckling lamb, and suckling kid (slaughtered often when only weeks old) become […]

Italian Food and Culture

ABOUT ITALIAN FOOD AND CULTURE The profoundly civilizing influences of Italian kitchens and table manners touch almost everyone. Even a brief examination of Italian cuisine offers convincing evidence that Italy’s mission of civilizing the world may have had its deepest impact on gastronomy. All of this seemed to have been predicted in 100 C.E., when […]

Italian Domestic Life and Regional Specialties

DOMESTIC LIFE AND REGIONAL SPECIALTIES IN ITALY DOMESTIC LIFE Most of Italian daily life from ancient times to today is spent in the streets and squares of cities, towns, and villages. Home is the place to eat dinner hut the streets and squares truly represent Italian life. The squares provide fountains and wells, markets and […]

Italian Special Occasions

ITALIAN SPECIAL OCCASIONS Almost all of the people of Italy profess the Roman Catholic faith, and according to many observers, the Church comes second only to the family in daily importance. From early infancy, through education and social services, festivities and special occasions, the Church plays a meaningful and important role. Yet, like Italian foods, […]

Italian Meals and Customs

ITALIAN MEALS AND CUSTOMS The influence of Roman gastronomy on the foods and customs of countless peoples is unquestionable. It was a sophisticated influence that included meat inspectors, bakeries, private caterers, and even slave cooks. Early meal patterns comprised two or sometimes three meals a day. Jentaculum or ietaculum was a light breakfast of bread […]

Italian Foods Commonly Used

FOODS THAT ARE COMMONLY USED IN ITALY The consideration of foods, facilities, and food customs of ancient times is not for historic interest alone: many parts of Italy and many Italian families still live in much the same way. In ancient times, the majority ate mostly wholewheat in many forms and vegetables, while the wealthy […]

Italian Food Glossary and Food Terms

ITALIAN GLOSSARY OF FOODS AND FOOD TERMS Abbacchio: suckling lamb. Alla Cacciatora: prepared according to the “hunter’s style,” which means slowly simmered in a sauce of vinegar and water liberal with garlic, minced anchovies, rosemary, and sage. Alla Fiorentina: prepared according to the Florentine style, which often (but not always) means that spinach is included. […]

Typical Food of Veneto in Italy

THE DIFFERENT TYPICAL FOODS OF VENETO IN ITALY VENETO The great staples of this province include polenta, radicchio rosso (a reddish form of chicory or curly endive), rice, and fish of all kinds including the imported salt cod. It was in Venice that the first sack of dried corn reputedly was unloaded in Italy, and […]

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