“A tavola non si invecchia” At a dinner table with family and friends, you will not grow old. – Italian proverb.
Growing since hundreds of centuries ago, Italian cuisine becomes a part of the world’s culinary wealth. Typical taste is the result of the influence of Western and Middle Eastern culinary such as Greek and Arabic.
Finding the characteristics of authentic Italian cuisine in Indonesia is not as easy as finding a regular pasta or pizza restaurant. Many Italian restaurants in Indonesia, but not all authentic, because it is basically Italian cuisine more properly called the village cuisine or home cooking.
Yes, Italian cuisine is not developed by a chef or a famous chef. Most Italian dishes are developed by grandma or housewife. This is what causes Italian cuisine so easily adopted by anyone.
The ease of cooking and preparing also makes this culinary evolve and spread so quickly. No need to complicated prepare a lot of material, just 4 to 8 ingredients and spices, then you or anyone can prepare Italian dishes at home. What matters is the quality of each ingredient, as it affects every dish.
Different areas of different flavors
Speaking of Italian cuisine cannot be far from the culinary history of the capital of the pasta country, Rome. Two thousand years ago Roman cuisine is better known as the cuisine of the poor or ‘la povera cucina’ (poor kitchen). While the Roman nobility preferred to eat a variety of meat from various types of poultry and drunk by wine (wine) their pride.
The poor are cooking simple dishes from their own vegetable granaries. Fresh vegetables and fruits are the main ingredients, producing the simplest dishes commonly eaten on the sidewalks. This way of eating will evolve into what they call a trattoria (stall) and osteria (bar).
Trattoria and osteria itself is managed by families in Italy. They serve simple but perfectly cooked dishes. What they eat at the dinner table is served to the guests. This is the basis of true Italian cuisine and hospitality.
The real advantages of Italian cuisine lie in the freshness of the spices and the ingredients they use. Like the ancient Romans, they still use natural ingredients in nature. Cheese from pet sheep milk, vegetables from the fields themselves, or fruit from the garden itself is characteristic. In addition to herbs and ingredients that are natural and fresh, they prioritize cooking when the food will be eaten. So that the dishes are served more fresh and warm when eaten.
But over time, Italian cuisine began to be influenced by the culinary-culinary brought by immigrants. Culinary in an area is slowly changing and has their own characteristics. Northern Italian cuisine, for example, uses more butter, cream and livestock such as chicken, beef and lamb, due to French and German influences. While the southern regions such as Sicily or Sardinia is fonder of using tomatoes and fresh produce of the Italian seas.
But the taste characteristics are not only divided into two north and south only. Each city or region in Italy also has its own uniqueness. Roma cuisine for example uses lots of pecorino or cheese from lamb and offal. While in the Tuscan region for example, many dishes using grains, meat, and white bread.
Pizza that is championed as Italian national cuisine is also different in each region. In Rome, pizza bread has a thinner shape and it feels crispy making it easy to eat. While in Neapolitan and Sicily, pizza bread is thicker. Culinary in Sicily even has a more interesting taste as it is heavily influenced by Arabian culinary and uses many lemons and pistachio nuts.