When Italian Food Is Not Really Italian

October 21, 2018

Italian restaurants enjoy a certain worldwide prestige in terms of great food, ambiance, wine selection, and service. The Italian-American heritage has certainly done wonders for the global standing of Italian cuisine worldwide, which may explain the puzzling experience many tourists go through when they visit Italy and inspect the menus at local trattorias and ristorantes.

According to respected travel intelligence publisher Fodor’s, Italians are passionate about their gastronomical tradition and their insistence on using fresh, quality ingredients in each of their recipes. When the first wave of Italian chefs and food lovers crossed the Atlantic and arrived on American shores in the 19th century, they were not prepared to face a significant lack of ingredients that were so abundant in their home land.

Despite the lack of olive oil, fresh tomatoes and elaborate cheeses, early Italian Americans were not about to go hungry or stop enjoying hearty meals in the company of their loved ones. They adapted to local conditions and came up with innovative recipes that may have surprised their loved ones back home. As Italian immigrants settled in other parts of the world, their kitchen traditions also adapted to their new environments and even more recipes were created. Read more info click milkprocon.org

From marinara sauce to chicken parmesan, Italian-American chefs have come up with delicious recipes that defy traditional Italian cuisine, which tends to err on the side of tradition. Modern Italian ristorantes and trattorias are changing, however, and they are incorporating steak and seafood dishes that complement their pasta dishes. Here are some recipes that tourists visiting Italy will more than likely not find on the menu:

Garlic Bread 
Bread and roasted garlic is a delicious appetizer that comes in handy when the main entrée includes a mouth-watering sauce. Bread is served in Italy, but it tends to arrive plain, without the tasty enhancement of butter or garlic.

Shrimp Scampi 
There seems to be some transatlantic confusion with regard to delicious seafood served over risotto or pasta, and the hearty tomato sauce known as marinara is something different. A marinara sauce in Italy is likely to include shrimp and other seafood, whereas salsa di pomodoro is a widely-used tomato and herbs sauce.

Chicken Parmesan 
Eggplant parmigiana is a staple of Italian home-made cuisine, but breaded veal, meatballs and chicken filets given the tomato sauce and parmesan cheese treatment probably originated in New York. Italian-American eateries that serve chicken and meatball parmesan subs are extra-creative, but such recipes are not likely to be found in any region of Italy.

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