Italians are real food lovers. The history of Italian food culture can be traced back to 4th Century BC, with many popular dishes tracing their roots back to the Roman Empire. Our food culture evolved along with the social and political changes. In addition to Ancient Roman influences, Etruscani, Ancient Greek, Byzantium, Jewish and Arab culture also played significant roles in breeding our contemporary food culture.
Italian food culture is well-known for its rich and diversified feasts, with their characteristics varying with each region. Diet, as expected, and even cooking methods, traditionally differed greatly by regions. Staples in the North were rice and polenta while those in the South were pasta, pizza and other wheat-based dishes. Cooking fat used in the North was butter. In the central regions, lard was used, and in the South, olive oil was used. During the last decades of the twentieth century, these factors became barely distinguishable. For instance, pasta and pizza became popular in the North, though, pasta is more likely to be served in white cheese sauce in the North and tomato-based sauce in the South.
However, pride in the culture of one's region, or companilismo, extends to the food of the locality, and regional cooking styles are celebrated throughout Italy. For example, luxurious and complicated dish rules in Bologna while simple and harmonic still delicious dish dominates Florence. For a piece of beef, It is more likely to be stuffed with parmesan ham, wrapped with aged parmesan cheese, and covered with white truffle chips in Bologna than Florence. In Florence, it may simply be grilled with olive oil and black pepper.
My intention is to share the enjoyment of our scrumptious Italian cuisine with those who enjoy the great tastes of the world. A lot of time and effort has gone into translating and compiling this Internet cooking resource, so that we could share our culture and favorite Italian dishes with you. The recipes here are a true representation of the lifestyle and richness of our united Italian culture.