Real Italian food
Italian food is one of the best-known but also most misunderstood of international cuisines. Many of the most famous Italian dishes outside Italy are either made up, or else a mash-up of ingredients from different parts of Italy that would never be served together at home. A prime example is Spaghetti Bolognese. In Italy, ragù, a meat sauce from the northern Emilia-Romagna region is usually served with tagliatelle and never spaghetti, which is a pasta type from the south of Italy.
Another thing that is rarely seen outside Italy is the traditional meal structure. Meals and menus consist of four courses: antipasto (starter), primo, (pasta, rice, or soup dishes), secondo (meat or fish, often with a side of vegetables or contorno), and dolce (dessert). At home, Italians rarely eat all this in one go but will have a pasta meal at lunch time, and a secondo in the evening. Lunch is considered the main meal of the day.
Seasonal and regional
Real Italian food is both seasonal and regional: ingredients vary wildly from time to time but also from place to place, and dishes rarely cross the regional borders. Italy is made up of twenty regions each different geographically and culturally due to the fact that from the end of the Roman Empire until 1871 the peninsula housed a large number of independent states.
This blog aims to present you with real Italian food, as you’d meet it travelling in Italy and as eaten by Italians every day. Most of the recipes will come from Tuscany (the region where I live), Umbria and Emilia-Romagna, (Tuscany’s neighbours), and Veneto (my native region which I visit often).
The title of the blog refers to the two products for which the area in which I live is best known, the truffle and the famous Marrone di Caprese Michelangelo DOP which has protected status. This blog also introduces you to other Italian ingredients through it’s Quick Guides to Italian Ingredients.