An Italian Cuisine History
To understand the wide range of Italian cuisines, it's essential
to look at the Italian cuisine history of Italy's 20 geographical regions. Because, in a sense, you're looking at
the cuisines of 20 separate entities – populations that, over the centuries, blended the culinary influences of
indigenous peoples, invaders, settlers and neighbors, plus the introduction of foodstuffs from the Americas, to
create what we now call Italian food.
We've divided this Italian cuisine history into three
- Northern Italian
There are six regions in far northern Italy which share borders with the Alpine
areas of France and Switzerland – Val D'Aosta, Piedmont, Lombardy, Trentino, Veneto, and Fruili-Venezia Giulia.
Northern European Alpine influences are obvious in their diets and recipes, especially in the areas closest to
the mountains. In the southern parts of the regions there is a wider range of foodstuffs consumed, with
favorite dishes reflecting the many peoples who populated the area in various time periods.
There are two other regions that are traditionally included in the category of
Northern Italy – Liguria and Emilia-Romagna. Located south of the alpine states, neither shares a border with
another country, so their cuisines have fewer Northern European influences.
To take a quick look at the cuisine of Northern Italy,
- Central Italian
The designation of Central Italy usually refers to four regions – Tuscany,
Marche, Umbria and Lazio. Italian cuisine history in these regions reflects the tumultuous history the Italian
peninsula, from the Roman Empire through the Renaissance to the present day.
To take a quick look at the cuisine of Central Italy,
- Southern Italian Cuisine
Southern Italy consists of eight regions – Abruzzo, Molise, Apulia, Campania,
Basilicata, Calabria and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. The cuisines of these areas, especially those of
Campania and Sicily, have been popularised in countries across the globe, due to the large numbers of
immigrants from these areas over the past 150 years.
To take a quick look at the cuisine of Southern Italy,