Italian food, without a doubt, is one of the best cuisines in this world. Not only is Italian food rich in taste and texture, but it also has a freshness to it that leaves you yearning for more. When it comes to Italian food and food culture, there is centuries’ worth of history and customs that go into the way Italians eat, and authentic Italian food is miles apart from what we get in most American restaurants. From the small number of genuine restaurants the country does have, getting authentic Italian lunch reservations or dinner tables is always difficult.
If you are a fan of Italian cuisine and want to know more about it in its originality, given below are three facts that you need to know about authentic Italian food culture and cuisine:
1. Italian cuisine only features light breakfasts
As opposed to the heavy and hearty breakfasts in Britain featuring eggs, beans, bacon, mushroom, and toast, or the mighty American spread featuring pancakes, syrup, eggs, and waffles, the Italian breakfast is modest in comparison. Italian breakfasts usually consist of either coffee and bread rolls, or fruit, muesli, and yogurt. The same items are consumed later on during the day as elevenses.
Italians are known to have light breakfasts and early suppers, as they save their appetites for the heaviest meal of the day which is lunch. Lunch is a full-fledged affair in Italian cuisine, and while they may have breakfast like a prince and supper as a pauper, they have lunch like a king.
2. Italian cuisine places heavy emphasis on fresh produce
Almost the entirety of authentic Italian cuisine is based around fresh produce and it is common for Italian households to buy from their local farmers’ market rather than from supermarkets. Not only is fresh produce healthier in comparison to store-bought varieties, but it is also more delicious in comparison. There is a definitive pattern in what Italians consume throughout the year with all their dishes being seasonal.
For instance, during the summer, most home-cooked meals feature aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, radishes, and peas. Whereas, during the winter, most meals consist of broccoli, artichokes, spinach, turnips, cauliflower, and fennel.
3. Italians love their food festivals
Food plays an important role in Italian culture, and Italians’ love for food is reflected in the many food festivals Italy has throughout the year. A common feat among all those festivals is that residents set up stalls for homemade food to celebrate the importance or significance of the ingredients that the particular festival honors. Throughout the year, locals and tourists in Italy can enjoy food festivals that have unique and delicious offerings to taste.
In April, the Artichoke festival encompasses Ladispoli with a variety of artichoke dishes gracing the stalls. In September, the week-long Potato Festival holds locals and tourists captivated with traditional foods featuring the humble potato. In October, the Olive Festival takes charge in Umbria, and in November, the Chocolate Festival called Cioccolato garners visitors from all over the world.