For the gourmand on the go, Italian foods offer an inexpensive, quick and
easy way to put an impressive meal on the table. For those with time to
indulge, Italian basics provide a palette for creativity. With olive oil,
pasta and a little garlic on hand, the possibilities are endless.
Italian food varies in style and preparation throughout Italy's 20 regions,
but the importance of pasta and olive oil is omnipresent.
Pasta, in all of its forms, is generally inexpensive. Italians generally eat
pasta once a day, every day. All pasta should be cooked al dente, or "to the
teeth." It should keep a bit of resistance to the bite.
Olive oil can get costly, but the investment is worth it. Pressed from olives
between November and January, the oil is fragrant and lends a unique taste
to foods. Extra virgin olive oil is the strongest, followed by virgin olive
oil. The darker the green of the oil, the more pungent its taste and aroma.
At In Italy Online,
you'll find recipes attributed to various regions of
Italy. In fact, this site is full of information for the Italophile, from
travel and accommodations abroad to recipes.
The Italian Trade Commission also provides a
comprehensive site on Italian food and culture. This site combines great recipes
with an appreciation for Italian history: you'll find in-depth information
on the origins and cultural context of ingredients, dishes and preparation
styles. Italian connoisseurs-to-be will learn how to assess the quality of
Italian cheeses or distinguish the characteristics of wines.
For those interested in a more informal exchange of recipes and enthusiasm
for Italian food, there are some great personal Web pages. If you have
a sweet tooth, Craig Miyamoto has
developed a site devoted entirely to tiramisu, an Italian dessert made of
marscapone cheese, lady fingers and espresso coffee. The
site covers everything from the basics to creative and healthy alternatives.
Maryann Nichole Ruperto offers
family tiramisu recipes and links as well.