Italians are passionnate towards their food and live to feast on their cuisine. This reputation for food dates back over two thousand years. The preparation and feasting of food was an important part of the Roman empire. In fact, the first written cookbook came from Italy in 1475. Then following the collapse of the Roman empire, Italy became fragmented. Due to this the separate regions in Italy grew up with their own traditions, identity, and resources. Then over a century ago, Italy was pulled together to form an unified country.
Foods and ingredients in Italy still vary according to seasonal and regional variations. In northern Italy, cooks prepare Tuscan beef, pork and dairy products of Parma, polenta, and black truffles from the Marches. In southern Italy, cooks prepare citrus fruits and creamy cheeses such as ricotta, mozzarella, and provolone. The south is also responsible for the brillant use of the tomato. They combined the tomato, their fluffy flatbreads, and mozzarella and created the ever famous pizza. Coastal regions rely on a variety of fish and seafood to complete their cuisine. They include Mussels, baby clams, squid, octopus, prawns, sardines, anchovies, and red mullet.
Pasta cannot be forgotten. Sometimes pasta is the sole word used to describe Italian food. Pasta is found in every shape, size, and colour throughout Italy. It may be served with a variety of sauces. In northern Italy, hot pasta dishes such as lasagna, stuffed pasta, and noodle casseroles are prepared. In southern Italy, pasta is lightly cooked and served with sauce made by vegetables, fish, or shellfish.
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