Life is a combination of magic and pasta- Federico Fellini
Italian food is essentially inspired by Mediterranean cuisine that mainly consists of ingredients, recipes, and cooking techniques that were developed all over the Italian Peninsula. This was eventually spread across the world thanks to the Italian diaspora settling down in every nook and corner of the globe.
The colonization of the Americas introduced Italy to the world of potatoes, tomatoes, maize and capsicums. Italian cuisine also evolved a great deal in its regional diversity thanks to the great divide between the north and the south of the Italian peninsula. You will find a great influence of Italian food worldwide especially in the United States. It is one of the most influential and duplicated cuisines in the whole world which has shaped several other world cuisines.
Italian food is known for its simplicity rather than complexity, with most dishes having only a couple of main ingredients. The quality rather than elaborate and extravagant presentations define the style of Italian cooks. Although ingredients and recipes may differ from region to region, a lot of the regional dishes are now popular all over the country.
An Introduction to Italian Food
Did you say pizza? There is hardly anyone on this planet who doesn't love a good pizza or pasta. Home-made or Michelin star patented, these are two dishes that have made Italian food famous. And you may want to run away and settle down in a villa in Tuscany and enjoy a warm pasta bowl with unending supply of wine. But you can experience the same thrill right where you are. You can't do much about missing out on the gorgeous views and vistas, but you can always bring the true flavors of Italy to life anytime you want or when your mood craves for it.
An Italian Meal
A typical Italian meal starts with a huge plate of antipasti, which is essentially a lot vegetables like artichoke hearts and mushrooms. This is followed by a dish of cured meats like capicola or prosciutto. Pasta is an essential item on the Italian menu and is usually served after the meat. Some Italian menus may or may not include a light protein like a leg of lamb.
The Most Famous Italian Food
The saddest part about Italian cuisine is that you can't try out everything because there is simply too many dishes out there. And you can only eat so much. But there is a must-try list that you simply cannot miss.
What is pizza? It's just a slab of flat bread topped up with olives, spices, and meat. But you could hardly find a dish that is as common and as savored as the Italian pizza. Have it as a snack or as a meal- it is cheap, easy-to-make, and filling.
Trivia- The Margherita pizza derives its name from the Italian Queen Margherita and represents the colors of the Italian national flag.
Pasta is another favorite of Italians. This particular dish is made of wide, flat pasta noodle that is baked in layers in the oven.
The Florentina T-bone steak is made out of a specific cut of meat and prepared in a very specific way. It is served with mushroom sauce with vegetables.
Truffles are a form of fungi that have a pungent smell but is one of the most expensive foods in the world. In fact, Italy is one of the few countries where truffles are grown in abundance thanks to its conducive climate and the thick forests of Umbria and Piedmont.
Another form of pasta, this dish is served with eggs, pecorino cheese, cured guanciale and black pepper. It might sound simple but only master cooks can prepare the best carbonara spaghetti.
Indian-Italian Food Fusion
When you search for Italian food near me, you will get a lot options for Italian food fusion. In India, it is like a happy marriage. Don't you all like a Tandoori Chicken or Paneer pizza? But on the face of it, Indian and Italian cuisines seem to be a world apart. But actually there are a lot of similarities. For example, in the southern part of Italy, the use of spices is very common although Italian food itself is not considered spicy. So, with Indian-Italian food fusion, this works out well. The simple recipes amped up with Indian spices.
For example, black cardamom is used in plenty in Italian cuisine. Many Italian chefs use it and Italians, in general, have developed a palate to enjoy it. Traditional Italian and Indian recipes have been combined to give birth to a new genre of fusion food.
Celebrity Italian chef Francesco Apreda is a pioneer in Italian food fusion especially when combining Indian spices with Italian recipes. His most famous fusion dishes include,
- Sfogliatelle samosa served with green tea and berry sauce
- Tandoori duck served with duck croquettes, apricots and Pak choy.
Italian food fusion has also been introduced in other countries like the UK, USA, Thailand, and Japan.
Best Italian Food Across India
Italian food is all about ingredients. It's not fussy and it's not fancy - Wolfgang Puck
This could not be truer. Simplicity is synonymous to Italian food. And the best Italian food worldwide swears by this. Here is a curated list of the top restaurants in India serving the best Italian food.
If you're looking for an idyllic spot amidst the loud noises in Mumbai, this is the place to be. It has a beautiful façade and al fresco seating that will take you to the streets of Venice. Try the lasagna that is famous at CinCin. You can choose between the classic lasagna made with mined chicken and Béchamel sauce or Lasagna Di Fungi made with creamy mushrooms and Parmigiano-Reggiano as its main ingredients.
Pizza By The Bay, Mumbai
If you want to dine with a view, then go a bite at this small joint nestled right next to Mumbai's famous Marine Drive. Their menu offers sumptuous Italian meals and dishes including Lasagna, all forms of pasta and the best forms of chees that you can die for.
Alto Vino, New Delhi
If you like fine dining, the Alto Vino is the place to be. Their signature Italian dish, the Lasagna Di Verdure is a must-try. It is made with basil pesto, cherry tomato sauce and served with grilled vegetables. Oh! And the wide and exquisite range of wines that they offer is the perfect accompaniment to a delectable Italian cuisine.
Toscano is quite a popular name when it comes to Italian chain of restaurants. It has multiple outlets across India, but nothing beats the ambience and offerings at the UB City outlet in Bengaluru. The must-try list includes the Lasagna di Pollo, their signature Tiramisu, and the Grilled Basil-Crusted Lamb Chops. And if you are a wine-lover, you will fall in love with their extensive wine list.
Ottimo Cucina Italiana, Bengaluru
This famous Italian restaurant in Bengaluru has become quite popular thanks to its inventive Italy-inspired menu of cocktails, apart from their wine collection. It is another fine dining restaurant offering some of the best dishes for those who love food and the finer things in life. Amongst the most famous dishes on the meu, do try out the Lasagna Patate E Carciofi and the Ravioli Di Pollo. You will almost not want to eat them because of the finesse with which they are made and presented.