The link above will help you to find out not only about Italian food or Mediterranean food, but Asian food as well! It's called 'the Med Diat' and is well known for the fact that people who live in these areas tend to live longer, due to what they eat.
Although very similar to French or Greek diats, the extensive use of olive oil is a determining factor....of course the price is a deterrent for many in the Northern countries. In fact, olives in general are used frequently in Italian, Greek and French cookery as oil, in sauces, as 'nibbles' amongst other preparations, they are prepared in hundreds of versions, some slightly 'bitter', others not. Their efficacity against cholesterine is well known. 'Olives a la Grecque'are almost always immersed in oil, and are the ripened fruit (black)....In fact, olives can be green, rose or black, depending on the ripeness of the fruit.
They are sold stuffed with red peppers, anchovy filets or natural and other things! Almost an obligation for apéros....!
They are sliced, served whole on top of pizzas and many other dishes, and an olive tree can take many years before producing, but can and often does live hundreds of years...!there are olive trees still alive and producing olives which were planted before Jesus was born!
The olive is probably the star of the Italian cookery together with the tomatoe!
There are so many fruits and vegetables in Italian food that I would recommend using the link above!
Once again, for almost all cookery, the simpler you keep it, the more natural - the better! So long as the ingredients are the real thing, there can't be better.....
I'm not even going into this product-there are so many- try the link!
They are delicious, but I found personally, in Italy, that the bread suffered because it wasn't as good as the pasta!They make lots of types, but coming (as I did) from France, I guess I was spoilt. Since then, I have discovered this variety which is very nice, and now available in France as well.
I'm sure all of you know what this is, so - I'm not going into this subject either, except to say that without doubt there are more pizzas eaten outside of Italy than inside!
There have been suggestions that the word came from (or went to) 'pie', but an open form!
They come in various shapes, sizes and with just about anything on top! Thick and thin, shallow or deep.....always (or nearly) with the usual tomatoe sauce.
Even France is becoming affected....!
Thank goodness the fish is still available, normally very fresh and so tasty - prepared as it should be! So is the 'charcuterie'and cheese....
just as in Spain and France.
The meat is enjoyable, even if the 'escalopes' are rather thin, unlike this. Grilled and served with a wine reduction, the pan being rinsed with the wine (a wine like marsala or madeira is ideal) and poured over the meat. There are many similar dishes in Italy
This is an American site, I have no idea how they ate what they did!
Meanwhile - back in Italy, and for much less, we have a choice of many excellent wines, from Champagne 'similar' to Dessert wines, all excellent.
My own favourite is the 'Soave Classico'or the 'Valpolicello'..dry white wines, very much chilled!
Once agai, as in my articles about Spain or France, this is only scratching the surface, but they make me hungry so I have to go to table....