On a recent trip to Naples a friend and I realized that Italian food is arguably the most common type of cuisine to be found around the world. Its dishes are available worldwide and its flavours are as recognizable as the tricolour Italian flag. This got me to wonder where this gastronomic prominence comes from.
The love of this type of Mediterranean cooking might come from the simplicity of its recipes or the richness and accessibility of its ingredients. Olive oil, garlic, onions, tomatoes, basil are to be found in most pantries around the world, as well as being the foundation for a variety of Italian dishes. Moreover, pizza and pasta are served in countless trattorias and restaurants around the world, making Italian food a universal gastronomical language and a safe haven for the inexperienced diner or those resistant to try more potent flavours.
Blessed by the Tuscan sun, or the rolling hills of Campania, Italy has an endless supplies of quality fruits, vegetables and produce. This is why, while in Italy, regardless of where you go for dinner and regardless of the price of a dish, you are almost guaranteed a delicious meal. Moreover, Italian produce is exported worldwide, making their flavours a luxury for everyone to share.
Many dishes originating in the Italian peninsula are quite simple and the quality and freshness of their ingredients characterize their complexity of flavours. Freshly picked basil leaves, lush streams of extra virgin olive oil, and good quality mozzarella is all you need to make a wholesome Caprese salad. Endless combinations of ham, chesses, olives and vegetables make the endless assortment of pizzas available worldwide. Fresh pasta and a good tomato sauce are all you need to make a perfect dinner. These wholesome dishes owe their depth to the ethos of simplicity that rules the traditional Italian Cucina, which can be thought of as food that’s good for your soul and for your body but which everyone can make.
So, it now becomes clear to me why the Republic of Italy has a long-lasting tradition of food that has captivated the world over. Fundamental ingredients, and the perfect mix of care and uncomplicated character of Italian food makes it a staple dinner in many houses and restaurants outside of the Repubblica Italiana. In all, pizza, pasta, burrata and many other of its dishes are the starts a wholesome meal which are light yet delicious.