Basic Facts about Italian Cuisine

Italian cuisine is popular throughout the world for its deliciously healthy dishes. Heavily-influenced by ancient Greek, Roman, and Middle Eastern cuisine, Italian cuisine has developed through centuries of social and political changes in Italy. The discovery of the New World brought about changes in the cuisine with the introduction of potatoes, bell peppers, and tomatoes, which only became popular in Italy in the 18th century. 
Italian cuisine is known for its regional diversity and abundance of difference in taste. Its main characteristic is its simplicity, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients. Most Italian cooks rely on the quality of ingredients rather than elaborate preparation. As most Italian recipes are discovered and developed by elders rather than by chefs, these recipes are perfect for home-cooking. This is why various cooking magazines in foreign countries popularize Italian recipes targeted at the home cook. 

The most common ingredients in Italian cuisine include tomatoes, olive oil,cheese, and varieties of herbs. Basil (for pesto), ham (or prosciutto), and different kinds of salami, peppers, and capers are also common in other regional cuisines. Other popular ingredients are varieties of fruits, vegetables, sauces, meats, and other natural products. This is probably why the Italian flag has red, green, and white colors, which are the colors prominent in most Italian dishes. 

Most ingredients are picked fresh from farms of a campesino or farmer in Italy. This contributes to the quality of taste and aroma that authentic Italian dishes have. The freshness of the ingredients also makes most Italian dishes perfect for people’s health. 

Some Italian cuisine experts also use cube-etti prosciutto pieces, diced Italian-style bacon, for pasta dishes and sauces. This ingredient can also turn a basic salad into a gourmet meal. Sprinkle it over pizza to add some traditional Italian flavor. Other popular dishes in Italy with cube-etti prosciutto pieces are omelet, quiches, and pasta dishes like fettuccini, spaghetti, and penne. 

Another popular ingredient in some regional dishes is the mortadella, a large Italian sausage made of ground, heat-cured pork sausage. These are delicately-flavored with spices including peppers, nutmeg, and different nuts. You can purchase mortadella from grocery stores. Experts recommend eating the mortadella right after purchase to enjoy its taste and aroma.