Great Italian Food Cooked In Different Italian Regions
By: Fisiwe Owen

The Tuscan Italian food is great. But one appeal of Tuscan Italian food is that it is generally healthy. This is due in large part to its use of olive oil. There are many different varieties of olives that are grown in the area and used extensively in the cooking. Beans are also widely used as are vegetables, seasonal fruits, and mushrooms. Of course the area also has the cheeses that are a signature of Italian food. In October and November the people are up for a real treat because this is when the famous white truffles of the area appear. Contrasting this lighter side of the Italian food is the extensive use of meat in Tuscany. High quality beef can be found in the region.

Tuscany has perhaps more unique Italian food dishes than any other region. Some popular dishes include fresh vegetables either raw or slightly cooked and served with olive oil that is seasoned for dipping. Tuscany is also known for a reheated vegetable soup dish. The meat dishes that are most unique to the area include Tuscan-style veal shank and T-bone steak. The Italian food that features pork in the area includes creamed bacon and a complicated dish of pig’s liver stuffed into a pig’s stomach and then slowly baked with stock and red wine.

The great food in Trentino-Alto Adige region
The cuisine here was influenced by the Republic of Venice and the Habsburg Empire. Other influences include that of the Slav, Austrian, and Hungarian cuisines. It’s hard to imagine now that Italian food was shaped by these cuisines that many people think of as distinctly different than Italian food. This region is known for its use of fresh water fish in contrast to much of the rest of the country that uses salt water fish in much of their cuisine. It’s also interesting to note that despite the foreign influences, it is this area that most popularizes the dishes that are traditionally thought of as Italian food such as pasta, tomatoes, and olive oil. However, in addition to these commonly thought of Italian food dishes is a host of other foods such as potatoes, dumplings, and sauerkraut made from scratch. Goulash is the most commonly served Sunday meal.

There are some specific dishes that are unique to this region. One is potato dumplings with ricotta. You might not think of dumplings when thinking of Italian food, but they are quite common to the area. They even have canederli, a specific dumpling unique to the area that is made with leftover bread. This region also boasts its own regional sauerkraut as well as a stuffed chicken dish.

The Friuli-Venezia Giulia Italian food
The most often used meat in this area is pork. In fact, if visiting this area it is essential to try one of their world famous San Daniele del Friuli hams. These hams are a staple of the local Italian food. The whole region is known for their bacon and sausages. In fact there is a local dish called jota that is unique to the region and is a stew dish made with beans and bacon. The pork in this area is spicy and this may come as a bit of a shock to foreigners not familiar with this brand of Italian food. The pork is often cooked over an open hearth and is seen in many dishes even if it is not the main entre.
Anytime is a good time for Italian food, but the holidays really make authentic Italian food shine as families get together to celebrate with traditional dishes. Try celebrating the holidays with Italian food and you’ll be introduced to a side of the cuisine that many don’t know exist.

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