Food & Wine
characteristic of Italian cooking is its healthy
balance, the excellent basic ingredients being simply
cooked and retaining their original goodness and
freshness. Simple and yet with such a variety of flavors
and rich inventiveness in preparation, that even the
most demanding gourmet is delighted.Italian food is an
extraordinary feast for the senses. Ranging from simple
to hearty, sweet to spicy, subtle to strong, each dish
and delicacy is prepared with the freshest of
ingredients. It’s no secret that Italy’s cuisine is
incomparable, but you may not know quite how to enjoy it
to the fullest.
Here’s a helpful guide to exploring and savoring Italy’s
||Italian breakfast is quite different
from American or English. Colazione is usually light:
cappuccino (coffee and milk) and a brioche (sweet
pastry), or simply espresso (black-short-strong coffee).
Pranzo (lunch) is the big meal except
in the industrialized cities. It consists of antipasto
(starter) a primo piatto (pasta, rice or soup), a
secondo piatto (meat or fish) with contorno (vegetable
or salad), then frutta ( fresh fruit). Finish with
espresso and maybe a grappa or amaro (strong digestive
Cena (dinner) is similar to lunch.
Nowadays there is a tendency of having a light lunch,
then dinner becomes the major meal.
Where to eat ?
There are thousands of ristoranti
(restaurants): the most formal type of place to eat when
one is not in a hurry, sometimes a little fancy and
pricy and family-run;
trattoria and osteria:
less formal than a ristorante, where local
specialties are served;
sandwich bar, where a quick meal can be had at any time
of the day;
pizzeria: is not only for pizza
The Art of Coffee
Making caffé is an art in itself and ordering un caffé
in Italy usually means an espresso. This means “to
press,” and refers to the pressure applied to the hot
water forced through the ground beans, creating this
strong, flavorful mixture, whose main variations are
Lungo - More water (about double) is
filtered through the grinds, giving a weaker taste, but
still stronger than normal coffee.
Ristretto - Less water, yielding a
Doppio - Simply two espressos in one
cup. In Italy, barmen who save coffee by serving a lungo
when a doppio is ordered are frowned upon.
Corretto - With a dash of liquor.
Americano - Diluted with hot water.
Macchiato - With a drop of steamed milk
Con panna - With cream on top
Affogato - Served over ice-cream
Tip: When ordering a coffee in a bar,
pay at the cash register first, then take the receipt to
the barista (bartender), who will then make your brew.
||"Italy is not
only the largest producer of wines, but above all a
producer of great wines.”
Its climate, soil and very
old traditions of viticulture make Italy a natural wine
growing nation. The wines are as personal as a name, as
different as the colors of the rainbow and as much a
part of Italian life as almost 3,000 years of tradition
can make them. The Etruscans of North-Central Italy, who
created one of the peninsula's earliest civilizations,
left evidence of how to make wine. The Greeks who soon
after established themselves in the South gave Italy the
(the land of wine).For centuries wine growing has been
the cultivation which used most of the labor of the
Italian farmers; this is still true today; a large part
of the population is engaged in the vine and wine
drinks include aperitifs, blended principally over a
base of the world-famous Piedmont Vermouth;
dessert wines, such as Moscato,
Marsala and Malvasia from
Sicily and sparkling wines from Piedmont, Veneto,
Tuscany and the Islands. Italy also has excellent
beers and a great variety of
effervescent mineral waters.
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