Let’s take a minute to list all the words you can associate with “Italian food.” Ready? Really, take a minute to write them all down. I did this exercise with my mom just out of curiosity. I’m here to bust up some misconceptions or legends about Italian culture, and food definitely comes up high on the list for most-often incorrectly interpreted concepts in Italy. After all, it’s not just pizza and pasta in the Boot Country, people. Here’s what Mom and I came up with:
Mario Batali and Giada de Laurentiis
Obviously pasta came up on our list. However, in Tuscan/Florentine cuisine, pasta actually makes up very little of the typical diet, which has been described as “peasant eating” adapted from the hearty meals eaten by the working class as opposed to the refined dining exhibited by the rich. Having been to Florence before, I can definitely agree that a lot of the food found here can be categorized as “comfort food.” Lots of meat, lots of potatoes, lots of beans, and cheese. SO much cheese. Very homey stuff.
Italy is famous for many things but in the food-related items, two rule over all else: olive oil and wine. With a bit of bread, it’s the perfect afternoon snack, yeah?
I’m looking forward to exploring the world of Italian food. Luckily, I’ve enrolled in a class entirely dedicated to the subject. Excited? Hell yeah.