Italian cuisine is famous for its rich, satisfying appeal and pungent flavors. Filled with health-boosting benefits, food from Italy is known to traditionally include olive oil, sugar beets, tomatoes and herbs like basil, rosemary and thyme – all superfoods for longevity. What’s more, Italians are just as loud and robust as the flavors of their famous foods like spaghetti, lasagna and pizza. With loud voices, jovial spirits and engaging body language, there is very little not to love about Italy. The people, the spectacular views and the famous flavors ring with a sparkling reputation all over the world so, are you ready to take a taste of Italy, now?
Italians are known throughout the world for their passionate personalities, relaxed lifestyles and fabulous foods. Besides the decadent and deeply rooted flavors of Italian cuisine, there are also many other things to enjoy about the culture.
Here is a list of fun facts about Italian food, culture and history for you to enjoy:
1. Tender Pasta.
The pasta in Italy is handmade which is why it is more than just food. It is a family honored practice that today still brings people together at the table. A full profile of the flavors of Italy are captured in the process and the artistry that comes with creating each noodle from scratch is stunning, yet simple. Using traditional old world recipes, facts about Italian culture would never be complete without this pasta.
Make your own Italian cuisine at home with this handmade tortellini pasta recipe.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 egg whites and one yolk (whole egg)
- Salt to taste
- Other herbs or spices as desired
- 5 oz. Italian stewed beef
- 2 oz. pork
- 2 oz. ground veal
- 1 oz. chicken livers
- 1 egg
Combine the ingredients together in a medium-sized pan over a low heat. Then, allow the mixture to cool. Add one beaten egg to the ingredients and blend fully.
To make the tortellini:
Create a small well in the center of the flour dough. Then, pour in the eggs, a pinch of salt and an optional drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Begin mixing the dough with a fork. Using your hands, gently combine all of the ingredients, forming it into a ball. Then, roll into thin individual sheets approximately 1 mm thick. Cut into 2 by 2 inch squares. Place a small amount of filling in the center, then gently fold as described previously.
2. Holy Cannoli!
This rich pastry food is most commonly served as a chilled dessert. Within the crisp, crunchy tubes is a creamy filling that can include a range of formaggi like ricotta or cream cheese, custard and more. Other fillings can include nuts (pistachio, walnut), chocolate, fruit and more. A popular food served all over the world, cannoli are considered the staple of Sicilian cuisine. They are worth digging into – even if the desert is all you order.
If you love frigid flavors from ice cream you may learn that you love gelato even more. Unlike any other frozen treat, gelato is signature of the Made-in-Italy lifestyle. Deliciously creamy, the rich texture of gelato is made out of a base of simple milk and sugar. Separated from other ice creams (10% butterfat), genuine Italian gelato only contains about 4-9% fat. However, gelato also contains less air so it has a much denser texture making it appear more creamy and rich to the palate.
4. The Café.
Coffee in any other country is just a common beverage included in most people’s morning routine. In Italy, café is more than just a drink – it’s a practice. Visitors to Italy contemplate their cups of coffee as they watch natives of the country infuse each sip with their lives and culture. The experience then transforms into “café,” more of a verb than a noun. And there you have it: coffee re-invented.
Facts about Italian culture must include a list of how-to-order café in Italy because otherwise you might make a mistake and ignite an Italian temper.
– Do not ask for complicated beverages.
– Use 2-3 words to describe the drink you want
– A “café” is a strong shot of espresso, a macchiato includes steamed milk.
– An Americano is a slightly more diluted drink that includes water.
– The cappuccino is the most extravagant of these coffee beverages including espresso – a warm frothy milk along with a sprinkle of chocolate.
If you get disorganized, the ordering process can become confusing. Una pausa (a pause) is common after ordering and paying for your beverages. So, be patient as you prop yourself up against a wall or luckily snatch up a seat while your cup is prepared.
The legendary Italy food facts about homemade pasta are only comparable to the pizza. The pies in Italy are truly one of the most deeply ingrained pieces of culture known globally as a signature of the Italian people. Any way you slice it, a pizza pie in Italy is unlike any other. Here are just a few of the most beloved flavors: tomato, eggplant, roasted red pepper, melanzana, pizzarium prosciutto (crema di zucca, pancetta e provola), blue cheese, pear, walnut, cold tomato reduction and basil along with a variety of formaggi (cheeses) like asiago, Swiss, groviera, gorgonzola, Romano, mozzarella and many more.
6. Caprese Salad.
This refreshingly simple salad features all of the signature flavors of Italy. Oftentimes included in other traditional dishes Italian culture food items like pasta, pizza and bread, caprese ingredients include olive oil, tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese. However, you can find these ingredients served alone, along with crusted bread or as a margarita pizza.
7. Sicilian Seafood.
Fresh fish from the Sicilian shores are something to take in. Open-air markets are common in Italy as they are of course home to some of the most appetizing delights of the sea including snails, octopus, shrimp, squid along with an array of fish species like tuna, swordfish, anchovies and more.
The Sicilian market’s unique regional flavors of Italy really come together at the famous Catania fish market. As one of the most well-known markets for its beautiful arrangements of fresh seafood in Catania, Sicily always has the freshest possible daily catch. So, don’t miss an opportunity to take in the heaps of sea life available for purchase.
8. Made-in-Italy Fashion.
The fashion industry would flop without the many contributions from Italy. The bright Made-in-Italy style is made possible by the rich flavors of Italy including world-renowned cuisine, culture and handmade designer goods. Some of the top, most well-known fashion brands from Italy include Gucci, Fendi, Hermès, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Versace and Fila.
9. Bella Vita.
The flavors of Italy are on plates, inside cups and wafting out of bakery windows all over the country. There, it’s not just about the standard tastes that make Italian culture, food and fragrances come alive. Traveling to Italy offers numerous opportunities to take in the leisurely countryside, ocean views, bustling sidewalks filled with chatter and gossip, lunchtime laughter and so much more. Taking in the flavors of Italy would require more than just a few seasonal meals. It takes time to savor each moment fully through every sense – then you can really taste it. Italians simply call it “Bella Vita,” or beautiful life.
Facts about Italian culture related to winemaking are some of the most famous. In fact, you may have heard that even the best wines available are made in Italy. It’s no surprise that Italy is a top producer for wine globally and may export over 20 million cases or more to other countries including leading buyers USA, Germany and the UK in just one year. Infamous for high-quality products, Italian wine delivers an exceptional flavor profile every time. Never miss a chance to try a romantic glass from the world’s heart of wine country.
Italian culture food, fun facts and fashion are just a small taste of what the experience of Italy has to offer in person.
If you’d like to try some of the best Italian delicacies, stop by Serafina. We’ll ensure that you not only enjoy your dining, but also a pleasant atmosphere. Click on the Reservations section on our website and book your table, today.