Though there are many individual regional cuisines in Italy, northern and southern Italian cuisines are primarily differentiated by the cooking fat and style of pasta commonly used. Northern Italian cuisine (other than on the coast) favors butter, cream, polenta, Mascarpone, Grana Padano, and Parmigiano cheeses, risotto and fresh egg pasta. Southern Italian cuisine tends toward Mozzarella, Caciocavallo and Pecorino cheeses, olive oil and dried pasta. Southern Italian cuisine also makes greater use of the ubiquitous tomato.
"The trouble with eating Italian food is that 5 or 6 days later you're hungry again."
—George Miller, British writer
Who would think that this small, boot-shaped country would be such a cultural leader among nations? While its current land mass consists of only 116,000 square miles, the Italian heritage and influence were once at the heart of the Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the Renaissance and other great eras of history. As they say in the restaurant business, location is everything—and this peninsula's prime position in the Mediterranean, bordered also by the Adriatic Sea and the Alps, has involved it with in virtually every European power battle, including some with the neighboring Near East and Africa.
Pasta, Risotto & You (with recipes)
from Kate's Global Kitchen:
Italy on Wikipedia
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This page modified January 2007
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