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Discovering Italian Cuisine Many people think of spaghetti and meatballs when they think of Italian food, which actually began in America with pizza, lasagna or ravioli. In fact, Italian cuisine is far more diverse and has several influences that you may not have thought of. There are numerous different versions of pasta with spicy tomato sauces, which make up a small part of the possibilities of the world's most popular food. Early Origins The beginning of Italian cuisine date back into history, but probably not from the sources you may be expecting. The foundation of numerous Mediterranean cuisines, from Lebanese and Greek to Spanish and Moroccan is olive oil, which the ancient Romans had usage of. However, the Roman diet was much different from that of the modern Italian diet. Actually, many Roman delicacies could be offensive to modern palates. From what historians can figure out, modern Italian culture and cuisine has much more in common with that of the Etruscans than the Romans. Unlike the pragmatic and militaristic Romans, Etruscans (whose name survives within the appellation “Tuscany,� a northern province) were a pleasure-loving people who have a keen appreciation of beauty and the finer things in life. Even though the people of Italy owe their language to the Latin tongue of Rome, over the generations, they have embraced more of the Etruscan way of living. Which includes a love of good eating. An important role in the progression of modern Italian food is the Etruscan influences. Tomato Sauce and Pasta Even though rich tomato-based sauces for pasta dishes is strongly linked with Italy as opera, highend sports cars and designer men's clothing, they actually didn't originate in Italy. In reality, pasta was practically unknown in Italy before 1300, and it would be another three centuries before tomatoes would be available. It was the famous 13th century traveler and explorer Marco Polo who initially introduced pasta from China around 1296. Tomatoes, however, are native to the Americas; they were brought back from the New World by Spaniards in the 1500s. Individuals who lived in or around the Mediterranean discovered that the local climate worked rather well to grow this novel fruit. It should be pointed out that these dishes are native mostly to the southern area of Italy and the island of Sicily, which is called the Mezzogiorno, even though they are the most popular among aficionados of Italian cuisine. The Northern Italian cuisine can vary for this type 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, created using 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 main reason pasta dishes with tomato sauce like lasagna and ravioli are the most popular among Italian food lovers, is because most Italian immigrants to the United States and Canada originated from Sicily and southern Italy. Antoni Ravioli Company, Inc.

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Discovering Italian Cuisine

Exploring The Italian Cuisine Even when it comes to tomato-based sauces, there's a good deal of diversity. The most common is marinara sauce or "sailor's sauce," but you will also be able to try spicy putanesca, arrabiata, fra diavolo and fresh tomato and basil, which happily blends the North and South. Get started on a culinary tour of Italia today, because there is a world of flavor waiting to be discovered! Many people think of spaghetti and meatballs when they think of Italian food, which actually began in America with pizza...

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Antoni Ravioli Company, Inc.

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Discovering Italian Cuisine