Italian food has found fame around the world and there will be few global cities where it isn’t possible to find an Italian based dish, or even, an Italian Restaurant. Two of the world’s most popular foods Pizza and pasta, have their origins in Italy. Pizza is basically a flat bread topped with tomato sauce and cheese then baked in the oven. The first pizza was recorded as early as the 10th century in Gaeta in Lazio but the modern pizza was invented in Naples. Today pizzas have evolved into many different varieties with their own names which signify their ingredients
Nowadays the pizza is seen on the menu of many restaurants both in the country and overseas. It has produced many restaurants that specialize just in serving pizza, known as pizzerias, and some have been turned into international fast food outlets. Pizza Hut. Pizza Express, Papa Johns and the Pizza Company all have outlets that can be found around the world. As famous as pizza is pasta, which is a form of noodle. It produced from a dough of drum-wheat flour which is then mixed with eggs or water. It is then flattened into a variety of shapes and is then baked or boiled. There are over 300 varieties pasta with certain types being famed with certain dishes.
For example a Lasagna is always cooked with a wide flat pasta. The dish is one of the oldest pasta recipes and consists of layers of the pasta separated with the Bolognese filling, and finally topped with a cheese sauce. Usually the meat is minced beef but there now enormous varieties available including vegetable Lasagna. Spaghetti is another famous pasta dish but the appearance is totally different from lasagna. Spaghetti is long, thin, solid and cylindrical and many a child around the world has spent countless hours trying to master the skill of eating it without causing an unseemly mess.
There are different types of sauces that go with spaghetti with the famous being the Bolognese and the Carbonara. The Bolognese is a beef and tomato sauce which originated from Bologna and as well as accompanying spaghetti it is often served with tagliatelle and fettuccine. Carbonara is a cheese sauce made from eggs, hard cheese, bacon, milk and pepper. Just like with Bolognese the carbonara and be served with a variety of other pastas and the dish often includes other ingredients such as vegetables.
A large number of Italian dishes include cheese and the country is famed for its variety of cheeses. The country is the third largest producer of cheese with many of the cheeses being famed for originating from certain regions. Often a pasta dish in a restaurant is accompanied by a water offering to grate extra parmesan cheese on top of the dish. The parmesan is in fact Parmigiano- Reggiano which is a hard strong cheese that comes from Northern Italy, but only the areas south of the River Po. The cheese is so strong that is usually used as a condiment with meals and is rarely served by itself on a cheese plate.
The Gorgonzola originates from Lombardy and is a blue vein soft cheese made from cow’s milk. The blue veins are created by metal rods being inserted into the cheese during its maturing. This then leaves spaces for mold to gather and grow. The cheese is often served in a variety of dishes and also eaten separately as part of the cheese board at the end of the meal.