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.
What kind of coffee should you order in a caffe? The possibilities can be confusing to many Americans. This is a list of the most popular caffeine-laden drinks.
caffe—A small cup of very strong coffee, i.e., espresso
caffe Americano—American-style coffee, but stronger
caffe corretto—Coffee "corrected" with a shot of grappa, cognac, or other spirit
caffe freddo—Iced coffee
caffe Hag—Decaffeinated coffee
caffe latte—Hot milk mixed with coffee and served in a glass for breakfast
caffe macchiato—Espresso "stained" with a drop of steamed milk. A small version of a cappuccino
cappuccino—Espresso infused with steamed milk and drunk in the morning, but never, never after lunch or dinner
granitadi di caffe con panne—Iced coffee with whipped cream
Like the French, Italians never drink coffee or tea with any meal except breakfast. Coffee (caffe) is often ordered after a meal. Tea is only considered a morning or between-meal beverage or one to be used for medicinal purposes. It is the unknowing tourist who orders a cappuccino in a restaurant after lunch or dinner. When ordering your after-dinner coffee, do not ask for an espresso, ask for a caffe, per favore.
Cheap Eats in Italy
by Sandra A. Gustafson
Paperback, 206 pp, $10.95
Chronicle Books, 1996
Reprinted with permission
Pasta, Risotto & You (with recipes)
from Kate's Global Kitchen:
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