Editor: Annie Beurman
copyright Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc.
For those who love Italian food, it’s always a treat to pay a visit to the neighborhood Italian restaurant or pizzeria. However, if you took a trip to Italy, you’re likely to find that your favorite American-Italian restaurants aren’t as authentic as they seem, even if they are delicious. There are several key differences when it comes to American-Italian cuisine and food that actually comes from Italy, and these are a few you might find in your favorite Italian dishes.
Sadly, you’re highly unlikely to find spaghetti and meatballs anywhere in Italy. This is because, despite the use of the dish in media forms like Lady and the Tramp and Mario (by the way, don’t expect a game about an Italian man created in Japan to be very accurate) the dish was created in America. There are actually several supposedly Italian dishes created in America by Italian immigrants who worked with what they had. You’re more likely to find spaghetti and meatballs in separate dishes from each other. Another thing that isn’t Italian is marinara sauce, which was also created in America. There are many other types of pasta sauces actually used in Italy, but if you’re still dying to have your dose of marinara, there a similar sauce called Pomodoro, which is used in the dish Pasta al Pomodoro.
In case you’re excited to try some authentic Italian pepperoni pizza, I hate to break it to you, but there’s no such thing in Italy. The closest thing you can find is Prosciutto, which is Italian ham. Speaking of meat, meat lover’s pizza is another type you won’t find in Italy; Italians can’t bear the thought of putting more than one meat on pizza. When it comes to the sauce, instead of the typical tomato sauce you’d expect in America, Italian restaurants use four ingredients; olive oil, garlic, oregano and, of course, fresh tomatoes. Add the toppings, very little cheese and the sauce onto a thin crust and you’ve got yourself a delicious Italian pizza.
You can’t have Italian food without a side of bread. However, the garlic bread you love will have to wait till you get back to America. If you want the originators of it, the bread for you is either Bruschetta or Crostini. Bruschetta is commonly made with sourdough bread white Crostini is made from smaller breads like baguettes. Both are similar side, but instead of butter, the bread is coated with olive oil. A common topping for these toasted delicacies is tomato with basil.
Meat and Seafood
While dishes like shrimp scampi or chicken parmesan- you guessed it- aren’t Italian, there are more than enough Italian dishes to satisfy your cravings for seafood or meat. Whether you like cod, mussels or even octopus, the Italians known how to make you a delicious fish dinner. As for meat, while you won’t find any mixed with your pasta, there are still plenty available along with a serving of vegetables and plenty of wonderful spice
Even if you’re not in Italy, authentic Italian cuisine isn’t as hard to find as you think. The next time you go to an Italian restaurant near you, a little research is all it takes for you to experience a true taste of Italy.
For authentic Italian recipes, get your copy of the Gourmand World Award Winning book- The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd editionSee you on January 19th , at 7:30-at Altomonte’s Italian Market and Bakery in Doylestown Pa for a DaVinci Style Dinner, Wine sampling and Cooking demo from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking :DaVinci Style. registration is limited. Fee of $85 includes a 4 course meal and wine sampling. I will be signing copies of the limited edition book that will be available for purchase during the event,. Call ALtomonte’s at 215-489-8889