Italian Cuisine Essay

3925 words - 16 pages

Italian CuisineItalian cuisine as a national cuisine known today has evolved from centuries of social and political change. Its roots can be traced back to 4th century BCE and into the Middle Ages which brought Arab and Norman influence to certain regions along with introduction of notable chefs such as Maestro Martino who cooked an elegant refined Italian cuisine. The cuisine significantly changed with discovery of the New World helped shape much of what is known as Italian cuisine today with introduction of items as potatoes, tomatoes, bell pepper and maize, which are all central parts of the cuisine but were not introduced in scale until the 18th century.Ingredients and dishes vary by region. There are many significant regional dishes that have become both national and regional. Many dishes that were once regional, however, have proliferated in different variations across the country in the present day. Cheese and wine are also a major part of the cuisine, playing different roles both regionally and nationally with their many variations and Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) (regulated appellation) laws. Coffee, and more specifically espresso has become highly important to the cultural cuisine of Italy.Contents1 History1.1 Antiquity1.2 Middle Ages1.3 Early modern era1.4 Modern era2 Meal structure3 Dining out4 Coffee5 Wine6 Holiday cuisine7 References1. HistoryItalian cuisine has evolved extensively over the centuries. Although the country known as Italy today had not officially formed until the 19th century, the cuisine can claim roots going back as far as 4th century BC. Through various influences throughout the centuries, including neighboring regions, conquerors, high-profile chefs, political upheavals as well as the discovery of the New World, a concrete cuisine has formed to what is known today as one of the premiere cuisines in the world.1.1. AntiquityThe first known food writer has been traced back to the 4th century BCE. This writer was a Greek Sicilian named Archestratus, who lived in Syracuse. His writing was a poem that spoke of using "top quality and seasonal" ingredients of the freshest nature. He also stated that the flavors of the dishes should not be masked by spices, herbs, or other seasonings with an importance put upon this style of preparation for fish. This style of cuisine seemed to be forgotten during the 1st century AD when De re coquinaria was published with 470 recipes included many with heavy usage of spices, herbs which would hide much of the natural flavor of the dish they were used in, much of this would have been considered what would be eaten in the patrician household. This does not suggest that the Romans of the time did not appreciate high quality ingredients. The Romans employed the best Greek bakers to produce their breads, imported pecorini from Sicily as the Sicilians were known for producing the best cheese makers. The Romans were also known as being excellent rearer of pigs for butchering and...

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