Known for its rich culture and heritage, Italy is a graciously beautiful country and on top of it the Italian food customs are also famous. No one would argue that Italian cuisine is one of the best cuisines in the world. There is nothing quite like the rich and delicious textures. Many changes, variations, and adaptations have blended in to create a fascinating tapestry of history.
If you have been a fan of Italian food since the day you tasted it, you are not alone. From pizza to pasta, gelato to wine, the amazing array of food items has a huge fan base all across the world. Here is a bite of 10 enthralling and must-known facts about food customs in Italy.
Italians Keep Their Breakfasts Light
In most parts of the world, breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day and it is the same scenario in case of Italian food customs. In Italy, things are a little different as they consider lunch to be of prime importance. By and large, the breakfast is fairly modest. They prefer to drink milky coffee in the morning like a café latte or cappuccino (not later than 10 am) with bread rolls, cookies, or pastries. Some other popular options include muesli, yogurt, and fruit salad. The reason to keep the breakfast light is to spare the appetite for the lunch course.
Italians Prefer Fresh Food Over Packaged
When it comes to buying food, according to Italian food customs presence is given to food from local markets and stores instead of supermarkets. The greatest advantage of this preference is that they get to buy fresh homegrown produce that is equally abundant in nutrition and flavors.
As opposed to several developed countries in the world, reports claims that fresh food is sold more than pre-packaged food in retail volume. Fresh fruit and vegetables were popular followed by seafood and fish products. Euromonitor International reported that Italians continue to love fresh food.
Veggies For Each Season
Now that you know Italian food customs involve preference for fresh food over packaged one, it’s easy to guess that there are particular vegetables for each season. It’s just a seasonal thing. As nature brings along prolific quantities of some vegetables for a specific spell, Italians prefer to keep it that way. With a shift in season, they will make way for a different selection.
The colder months bring along the likes of cabbages, cauliflowers artichokes, Brussel sprouts. broccoli, fennel, turnips, and spinach. Summer favorites include aubergines, beetroot, cucumbers, courgettes, peas, radishes, and tomatoes. Only a few selected vegetables such as chicory, lettuce, and carrots are grown throughout the year.
Holiday Delicacies Are a Must
What makes Italian cuisine unique is that there is a unique feel for holiday seasons. Christmas and Easter bring along an array of sweet and tempting food varieties. Minestra di Pasqua is one of the top favorite traditional goodies laid out at Easter. This is a common course main course during Easter time and is a special kind of soup made up of beef, pork, kale, and herbs. Gubana Easter bread and Ciambelone are the Easter desserts. You will instantly fall in love with the lemon zesty flavor of Ciambelone. Hovering somewhere between bread and cake, this savory food can lighten up your mood.
Christmas comes with festive favorites such as Panettone. This dome-shaped sweet bread contains a blend of nutritious raisins, candied orange, and lemon zest. Panforte is another popular fruit cake nuts, honey, spices, and almonds. Beef, veal, and Cotechino sausage served with ingredients like onions, celery, and carrots, are examples of popular Christmas savory dishes.
Gelato Is the Favorite Summer Treat
The summer season in Italy gets more delightful with Gelato. It is the healthier alternative to ice cream as it contains far less sugar. Its unique texture comes from the slow churning process as opposed to ice-creams. While you roam the Italian roads and enjoy the scenic views, you can choose to treat your taste buds with Gelato or Sorbetto. For those who don’t know, these desserts differ because they hail from North and South. Sorbetto comes from the South and features fruits, sugar, and water whereas Gelato contains milk in addition to fruits and sugar.
Simple Yet Nutritious Suppers
The whole culinary world is about fine dining. While carefully selected ingredients, fancy arrangements, and eye-popping prices are good for some food choices, Italians prefer simple yet nutritious meals. It is also well known that Italian is good at keeping their food waste at a minimum. That’s because they have got the creativity to make amazing foods from what’s left in the larder.
Food customs in Italy are all about keeping the food serendipity at its finest. The cuisine can brighten up your food table even when the money is running out at the end of the month. Polenta, the simple pudding of Mantova's Torta Sbrisobna, and Ribollita are a few examples to name.
Margherita Pizza Was Made for An Italian Queen
Do you like pizza? It is even out of question to ask this question, right? This mouth-watering delicacy was invented in Naples somewhere in the 18th century. Before that, it existed in its very basic form, just a flat round base of bread that was sold by vendors. It was quite popular!
In 1889, the Italian queen, Margherita (Margherita of Savoy) requested a similar meal from chef Rafaelle Esposito. Eyebrows were raised in the court circle but what Rafaelle Esposito did was something amazing. He produced something a little more elaborate for the queen by adding mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and fresh basil to the bread base. All of the ingredients cleverly represented the red, white, and green colors of the Italian flag. Not only did that become the favorite meal of the queen but so began the trend of pizza being eaten as a main course meal.
Italians always keep bread, wine and water at their food tables and love to celebrate food festivals all year round! If these mouth-watering details caused your taste buds to yearn for Italian food, search our local web directory CityLocal Pro to find the best Italian restaurants serving near you.