No "Italian Recipes" ?
Ok, so, I told you already that I firmly believe that italian recipes are about territory, the people, the history…
Another thing that you have to understand about italians is that they (we!) possess a strong sense of localism (we call it "campanilismo", meaning being attached to one's own "campanile" - bell tower - that is the village, town or city itself).
Italians are romans, florentines, venetians before being Italians.
From the North to the South, from the East to the West, the italian peninsula offers an incredible culinary variety which is comprehended in the expression "italian gastronomy".
Without delving into the details now and just for the sake of providing an example, consider italian recipes from the gastronomies of Sicily, with its couscous, swordfish and citrus salad, and the one from Piedmont, with its truffles, its succulent meat dishes and "agnolotti": how can these two belong to the same culinary realm ?
Probably, if asked, italians themselves, so proud of their own local gastronomic traditions, would answer that they cannot.
You can see on our
Italian Bread page
how even something "simple" like the bread can differ from town to town.
The distinction of italian gastronomy (or italian recipes) into regional gastronomy, that we will use here in our site to some extent, is more of a pragmatic approach to categorize a reality that is indeed more diverse, with strong variations even within the same regions.
All this, to mean that it is difficult to generalize on the italian gastronomy and alimentation.
To the title of this chapter, then, does it mean that there is no "italian" gastronomy, in the general sense ?
You will discover, through our site and the stories I will contribute to it, that Italy, in the end, is not a just a collection of a myriad of different traditions unlinked to each other: there are many dishes and foods which are common through a number of regions (polenta, for example, is common throughout the North) and the habit to subdivide a meal into "antipasto-primo-secondo-contorno-caffè-dolce" (appetizer-first course-second course-side dish-coffee-dessert) is also a common way of eating throughout Italy.
Italy was divided into many different States until its Unification, in the second half of 1800, and this prolonged political situation has very strongly influenced the national diversity in gastronomy and gastronomical traditions.
The intense connections, trades and exchanges between these entities, though, and thanks to the important role of the cities (like Palermo, Naples, Rome, etc.) that were the engine of all these traffics, a dialogue has always been present in the different gastronomic spirits of the Bel Paese.
An account of the italian recipes, therefore, is, many a time, not only the expression of the taste and traditions of a single place, but rather the expression of the experimentations and exchanges (of customs, ingredients, discoveries) of the realities around that place.
Eating in Sicily, for instance, can be thought today of as a way of tasting the beginnings of the "italian gastronomy": remember the
history of italian pasta
("itriyya") from the arabic conquest of Sicily ?
Perhaps, that is the beginning of the italian gastronomy as we know it today.
But you are interested in italian recipes, otherwise you would not have come to this page!
I will not apologize for the long foreword, however, as it is in the spirit of Italian-Traditions.Com, not to simply "tell" italian recipes: I would like you to see, feel and enjoy the various facets of this expression of italian culture, and, possibly, that you become as passionate as I am about its discovery!
So now, how does all that take us any closer to our most sought-after recipes then?
For the sake of easiness and organization, I believe that a brief overview of the Italian culinary customs across the Italian peninsula is going to be helpful, and we will approach it on a region by region basis (remember what I said about generalizations before...), as there are elements that will support us when going deeper into the local details.
I will place links to a variety of italian recipes, per category, on the navigation bar to the left, when possible, and links to them will also be present throughout the pages of the site.
Consider this as our Italian recipes hub page, though, in order to have a reference to follow.
Ok, you can have your espresso coffee break now :) , to stretch your legs a bit.
Ready now ?
Bene! Let’s get started then.
Region by Region
Just click on one of the links below (I’ve tried to sort them going Southward from the Northernmost point of the Map of Italy)
The links will keep being added so, please, bear with me if they are not all available to you yet.
You do not have a particular order to follow but your own personal interest.
- Culinary Traditions in Aosta Valley Region
- Culinary Traditions in the Lombardy Region
- Culinary Customs in Piedmont
- Culinary Customs in Trentino Alto Adige - Südtirol
- Culinary Customs in Veneto
- Culinary Customs in Liguria
- Culinary Customs in Emilia Romagna
- Culinary Customs in Tuscany
- Culinary Customs in Marche
- Culinary Customs in Umbria
- Culinary Customs in Lazio
- Culinary Customs in Abruzzo
- Culinary Customs in Molise
- Culinary Customs in Campania
- Culinary Customs in Apulia
- Culinary Customs in Basilicata
- Culinary Customs in Calabria
- Culinary Customs in Sicily
- Culinary Customs in Sardinia
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