Top 10 Popular Italian Food Items

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Mangiare per vivere e non vivere per mangiare. Translated Eat to live and not live to eat. But when it is Italian, the saying can easily be turned around. Love for food is one thing and love for Italian is whole different one. Countries all over the world have their own versions of Italian dishes. Indians have prawns done in Italian style and USA serves tiny cheese pizza in School cafeterias. These popular dishes have become a part of our daily meals. So much so that we forget that they are adopted cuisine. Apart from Espresso, cafe latté and an exhaustive wine list, many dishes that has captured attention all over the world. Not just the dishes, the ingredients are also very popular. Like base sauces, olive oil and their variety of breads, not to mention cheeses. In this article we will consider the dishes as a whole and not the ingredients. Warning! This is bound to make you hungry. Enjoy the cucina italiana.


1. Pizza


There is nothing new I can tell you about variety of pizzas available. The basic is that it is freshly baked bread with a tomato and cheese and about any food you wish. It can be only cheese to loaded chicken to Indian version of Paneer tikka masala. Nothing can beat the stone brick oven cooked true Italian version. It is said that the classic form of Pizza, Margherita, is named after Queen Margerita of Savoy.During those times pizza was considered a meal of pheasants but the Queen loved it. The court and royal family were not very happy but the queen continued despite their displeasure. Smart Queen! Common cheese pizza, pizza slices have become go-to food in most of the world. The chains like Pizza hut; Dominos commercialized this dish and took it to masses. However it is said that true taste of Pizza comes in Italy alone with their special tomatoes grown in volcanic ash of Pompeii. Sounds intriguing!

The globalization has made the daily food a melting pot of variety. Cousins from parts of the world have become common and they are added and adapted into our local food. It only makes food much more colorful.


2.  Lasagna


Simplest way to explain this dish is to various lasagna sheets alternated with various sauces and ingredients. It is prepared with assorted types of cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano, mozzarella etc. Tomato sauce and other ingredients are also added in between the lasagna sheets. Meat, veggies are also added. In all cases the lasagna is oven baked. Very few places get the dish just right and when they do it is pure delight. Lasagna literally meant the pot in which the food was cooked hence the plural form of word is widely used i.e. lasagne. 29 July is lasagna day so be sure to use this as an excuse and dig into this cheesy preparation.


3. Gelato


It is ice cream only better. The ingredients are all the same but a lesser dash of butterfat and lesser amount of sugar. Also unlike ice-creams, it is not made in large batch frozen at once. It is made in smaller batches which are frozen separately. Thus the air’ felt in ice-cream is completely eliminated and the flavor is enhanced and intensified. The drawback here is that we can’t keep it fresh and edible for more than couple of days. So we got to restock it every couple of days. Now-a-days Gelato can be found in every mall. They are a delight!


4. Fondues


Whats is there to not like about melted cheese and dipping stuff in it? Seems like a good idea right? Well the Italian thought so too. It has a communal pot of melting cheese and long forks with breads. The different versions include chocolate fondue (dip fruits, marshmallows and cookies in melting chocolate). It is an absolute delight to enjoy fondue in a chilly night with wine or black tea or sprites! This has fun traditions associated with it, if a man loses the bread in the pot; he buys everyone a round of drink. If women lose bread, she kisses her neighbors. Fun way to party!


5. Risottos


Rice is one ingredient which is found widely in many Italian dishes. Risotto is a popular example. It is basically rice mixed with broth, vegetables, meat, fishes etc. The final product is creamy and flavored dish. It popularly includes parmesan cheese and butter. Mario Batali is among the masters of Italian Risotto dishes and his pointers will help you cook this dish for if cooked haphazardly, it is just uncooked rice soup. If you pull it off, you are the master!


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