A culinary journey in Italy
To really discover Italian gastronomy, you have to make your way down the whole boot of Italy, from Piedmont to Sicily, dawdling in each region, exploring the streets and alleys in order to better understand its roots. Every region has its own gastronomic traditions, cultural habits and specialties, like so many individual signatures and perfumes. But it is generally agreed that it is in the cooking of the north that this country's cuisine has attained its noblest heights.
Meat is cooked with great imagination: steak traditionally prevails in Tuscany; in the north roasts, osso buco, braised beef and game take pride of place; in the south pork and goat. In Italy veal is slaughtered before it becomes beef, while a daily ration is expected from the sea. Thus, all along the coasts of the peninsula and the islands, fish is king, from mullet to bass to sardines, all enhanced with the countless flavours of the Mediterranean.
Italian cooking is imbued with sunlight and draws its inspiration from the products of the land.
Besides pasta, olive oil and tomatoes, Italians love their vegetables which, despite their generic names, nevertheless possess a distinctive flavour, texture, shape or colour, almost as if they bore the imprint of a great Italian designer. So…in the Italian garden we find…
* the Italian eggplant in its royal purple robe
* Finnocchio, or fennel, from Florence
* the Italian tomato, long and thin
* borders of Italian parsley
* radicchio, heads of white-veined red-leafed lettuce
* and much more besides…
A platter of Italian cheese is impressive, constituting a festive meal all on its own. Cheese makes its way into countless dishes, sprinkled on a salad, melted and golden in a sauce or gratin, even forming some daring sweet alliances, elevating an array of desserts to the level of art, each one with an irresistible name, each an invitation to deliciously sinful indulgence.
Italy is a country of divinities, the land of Bacchus who, with his warm breath, made the vine grow from north to south and who imparted to the inhabitants of this boot stretching into the sea the secrets of making great spirits, wonderful nectars flavoured with almonds, lemons and other fruit.
Italy is constantly reinventing itself, enchanting young and old, those from all walks of life. As you sip an espresso or a cappuccino, allow yourself to be seduced by Italy… And as for the menu? It's up to you!
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