Italian Food

Italian food is often identified with just a few of its popular dishes and I’m referring here to pizza and spaghetti. But, the Italian cuisine has a huge variety of dishes and drinks, reflecting the cultural variety of each region of the country and the diverse history. With influences from Greek, Roman, Germanic, Lombard, French, Turkish, Slavic or Chinese cuisines, the Italian cuisine is savored in every corner of the world.

A traditional Italian meal includes: antipasti (hot or cold appetizers), then is served primo or first course (usually consisting of hot dishes like pasta, risotto, polenta or soup), after that comes secondo or second course (which is the main dish, usually represented by fish or meat), then follows contorno or side dish (which may consist of a salad or vegetables), dolce or dessert plus caffè (Italians usually dinks espresso) and, finally, a digestive (which consists of liquors like grappa, amaro, limoncello, sometimes called ammazza caffè, which means "coffee killer"). One remarkable aspect of an Italian meal, especially when it is eaten in an Italian home, is that the primo (or first course) is usually the more substantial dish, containing most of the carbohydrates, and will consist of risotto or pasta.

Even if, in this country so diverse, it is difficult to define a cooking style, the traditional food is at the core of the cultural identity of Italia, and all Italians react with attachment to their own identity.


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