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The Early Origins Of Italian Cuisine Most people think of spaghetti and meatballs when they consider Italian food, which actually began in America with pizza, lasagna or ravioli. In actuality, Italian cuisine is far more diverse and has numerous influences that you may not have thought of. Pasta with spicy tomato sauces (and you will find many variations) make up only a small portion of what is possibly the world's most popular cuisine. The Early Origins The start of Italian cuisine go back into history, but most likely not from the sources you may be expecting. The basis of many Mediterranean cuisines, from Lebanese and Greek to Spanish and Moroccan is olive oil, which the ancient Romans had access to. However, the Roman diet was very different from that of the modern Italian diet. Actually, a lot of Roman delicacies would be too much for the modern palates. Modern Italian culture has a lot more in common with that of the Etruscans than the Romans from what historians can determine. Etruscans, whose name survives in the appellation "Tuscany," a northern province, were a far more pleasure-loving people with keen appreciation of beauty and the finer things in life, unlike the pragmatic and militaristic Romans. Even though the people of Italy owe their language to the Latin tongue of Rome, over hundreds of years, they have taken on more of the Etruscan approach to life. Which includes the love of excellent food. A significant role in the development of modern Italian food is the Etruscan influences. Tomato Sauce and Pasta While pasta dishes with rich, tomato-based sauces are practically as strongly identified with Italy as opera, high-end sports cars and designer men's clothing, neither of these actually originated in Italy. In reality, pasta was virtually unknown in Italy before 1300, and it would be another three centuries before tomatoes would be readily available. It was the famous 13th century traveler and explorer Marco Polo who initially introduced pasta from China around 1296. But, tomatoes are native to America and were brought back from the New World by the Spaniards in the 1500s. People residing in and around the Mediterranean found the local climate particularly well-suited to cultivation of the novel fruit. Even though they are the most favored among aficionados of Italian cuisine, it must be pointed out that these dishes are native primarily to the southern area of Italy and the island of Sicily, an area referred to as Mezzogiorno. The Northern Italian cuisine can vary for this kind of cuisine. In the past couple of years, another sauce that originates from the city of Genoa has become more and more popular. Pesto is often a staple of northern Italian dishes, made with olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and fresh, ground basil leaves and has found its way into many things from fettuccine con fungi e pancetta, which is a flat noodle with mushrooms and bacon, to seafood and chicken dishes. The reason pasta dishes with tomato sauce like lasagna and ravioli are the most popular among Italian food lovers, is simply because most Italian immigrants to the United States and Canada originated from Sicily and southern Italy. Antoni Ravioli Company, Inc.

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The Early Origins Of Italian Cuisine

Exploring Italian Cuisine There is a good deal of diversity even when you are looking at tomato-based sauces. The most prevalent is marinara sauce or "sailor's sauce," however you will also be able to try spicy putanesca, arrabiata, fra diavolo and fresh tomato and basil, which happily combines the North and South. Get yourself started on a culinary tour of Italia today, because there's a world of flavor waiting to be discovered! Most people think of spaghetti and meatballs when they consider Italian food, which actually began in America with pizza...

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Antoni Ravioli Company, Inc.

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The Early Origins Of Italian Cuisine