History of Italian Food

History of Italian Food

By Luca Monaco

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PARMIGANO RIGGIANO

A hard, yet granular cheese that is cooked, and not pressed. It is named after it’s production areas near Parma. It was also said to be birthed from Riggio Emila, Modena, Bologna, and possibly even Mantova.

BUFALA MOZZARELLA

Buffala meaning female buffalo is where the milk comes from to produce this unique lactose free cheese. After the war, water buffalo imported from India were reintroduced to Italy, but the cheese introduced to North America by Italian immigrants in NewYork at the turn of the 20th century and in Canada around 1949 was made with cow’s milk.

INSALATA CAPRESE

There is very little information on this kind of salad, we know that it originated from Capri that’s basically all that we know about its origin.

It’s a simple salad greatly influenced by the region of Campania, which is made of freshly sliced buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and salt, pepper, and olive oil. Not like most salads it is usually served as an appetizer, and not as a side dish. This kind of salad can also be called Tricolore Insalata.

CAPONATA CAPRESE

This is a very typical dish in Capri, especially during the summer time. It’s uniqueness is that it can be served both as a side, and as an appetizer, it has a rare sweet, and sour flavor.

LIMONCELLO

A customary Italian liqueur, being relatively young in existence (100 years old.) Its origin comes from a small boarding house of the island Azzurra, where the lady Maria Antonia Farace took care of a rigorous garden of lemons.

The nephew, during the post-war period, opened a bar near Alex Munte’s villa. The speciality of that bar was the lemon liquor made with nonna’s old recipe.

PIZZA MARGARITA

In the year 1889, to honor the 30 year anniversary of the unification of Italy, and Queen Margarita of Savoy, Chef Rafaele Esposito, (and his wife) create a pizza resembling the colors of the Italian flag. Tomato to represent the red signifying the blood shed in Italy’s wars, basil to signify the green of Italy’s lands, and mozzarella to signify the white winter snows of the Alps.

However, this recipe can also be traced to 1866 from Francesco Debouchard, so in actuality the true origin of the recipe, (and not the dish) itself is unclear.

CARBONARA

The origin of this dish is unknown as well, we do know that the name comes from The Apennine of the Abruzzi by professional wood cutters who used charcoal for fuel. They would cook the dish over a charcoal fire, and used penne instead of spaghetti because it was far easier to toss with the egg, and cheese.

The name also has the meaning of the obvious translation coming from alla
carbonari meaning “of coal miners.” This is so primarily because it was first meant for coal miners, and the flakes of pepper were supposed to resemble lumps of coal.

ANTIPASTO

The original appetizer, they are meant simply to increase the appetite for the main course. The literal translation of antipasto means “before the pasta” this term has been used since the 16th century. It is always either served cold, or at room temperature, and they are usually as colorfull as they can possibly be.

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