Italian Cuisine – 4 Deliciously Authentic Dishes
Italian cuisine is something that’s popular the world over, who doesn’t love a good pizza after all? But, as good as Italian food may taste in your own country, you can only ever get truly authentic cuisine in the land that it originates from.
The dishes found throughout the country are steeped in tradition and culture and provide a true taste of Italy. With such a vast amount of dishes and the people who make them, it’s impossible to hold one or a specific few dishes above all else. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t recommend a few of these delectable plates of food.
Ossobuco alla Milanese
This flavourful and hearty Milanese dish is a regional speciality and is made from slowly cooking veal shanks in a white wine infused meat broth along with some vegetables. The traditional recipe for ossobuco originated in the late 19th century, didn’t include tomatoes and was finished off with gremolata, a seasoning made with garlic, lemon zest and parsley.
Being one of the richest and most representative meat dishes in the city’s culture, ossobuco is something you definitely need to try if you’re ever in Milan.
This staple of Tuscan cuisine is a healthy, delicious bread and tomato salad that is usually served in central Italy in the sweltering summer months. Panzanella originated from the fields of Tuscany where local farmers had to rely on hearty homegrown food to feed themselves while working.
The original recipe utilized only stale bread and onions but with the introduction of tomatoes to Europe, they became an essential part of the dish’s modern renditions. Panzanella is made today with leftover bread, sun-ripened tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh basil and seasoned with vinegar and olive oil. It’s a fresh, scrumptious delight that is sure to leave you hungry for more.
Focaccia is one of the most popular kinds of bread you will find in Italy. The name of this particular bread comes from the Latin term “panis focacius” which translates to flatbread baked on the hearth.
While Focaccia has countless varieties throughout Italy, the most delicious rendition of this Italian cuisine is said to be in Genoa and from the villages along the Italian Riveria. This bread is made from a combination of both soft and hard wheat flour, water, yeast, salt and extra virgin olive oil.
In other parts of the country, herbs, garlic, tomatoes and basil are often added to the bread. However, no matter from where in Italy you consume this delicacy, know that your taste buds are in for a great time.
To round of this list, we have what is, arguably, the most famous type of Italian cuisine, pizza, and this particular type of pizza, Napoletana, is often considered by many to be the most authentic pizza you can get. A simple, impeccably prepared dish with fresh high-quality ingredients that speaks to the essence of Italian cooking.
Originating from Naples sometime during the 18th and 19th centuries, Neapolitan pizza is a flatbread topped with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese and finished off with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. While the ingredients may be simple, the process of bringing it all together to create this deliciously authentic Italian cuisine is a far more complex affair.
The tomatoes are grown within the volcanic soil of San Marzana sul Sarno, a little town near Naples. The dough must be made with particular ingredients by hand and crowned only with D.O.C Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. For the baking process, the pizza needs to be baked at 900 degrees for 60 to 90 seconds in a wood-fired oven that utilizes two types of wood. It’s a strenuous process but one that is absolutely worth it considering the final product.
While there are three official versions of this pizza, the most famous is easily Margherita. Even though pizza may be something you’ve had many times in your life, this particular one is an absolute must-try if you plan on visiting Naples.