103 provinces of taste
Probably no other country in the world is so proud of the range of variations and vast amount of regional specialities as Italy. 20 Regions and 103 provinces contribute their distinctive recipes to "la cucina italiana" - lately people counted 2,171 regional specialities.
Obviously all Italians seem to have at least one thing in common - a passion for alluring aromas, natural colours and indulging the palate. So if you want to bring some Italian dishes on your table be ready to let your taste adventurously travel from Milano to Florence to Rome to Naples to Palermo...
Fresh or dried pasta?
In north Italy people tend to eat more fresh pasta. In the south dried pasta is the rule, made from durum wheat. What's the difference?
Fresh pasta is made with eggs and needs only just a few seconds of boiling while dried pasta needs around ten minutes to cook them al dente. Fresh pasta is best with creamy sauces, dried pasta is best with tomato sauces, pesto or other sauces with a southern accent, that is with olive oil.
However, if you want to surprise your guests make your own fresh pasta, maybe stuffed with minced meat or a vegetable pureé - the Braun Multiquick 5 hand blender is capable to give your ideas the certain Italian twist.
Primo or secondo?
The typical Italian order of an culinary evening between antipasto and digestivo is of course not strictly organized. That just wouldn't be Italian.
For instance, the antipasto is optional. The primo piatto might be a soup, a pasta, a rice dish, gnocchi or polenta. With secondo piatto you are serving some proteins - meat or fish - together with contorni, some most delicate side dishes consisting of vegetables. Salads are usually served after the final course - it's meant to clean the palate before the final highlights come: some fruits with formaggio, a little desert (dolci) and after that comes an espresso.
After all you know what Italian cooking is good for - it brings happiness to your life.
An endless adventure in taste
When fast food were threatening to take over Rome a brave Italian man named Carlo Petrini founded the Slow Food movement. Anybody can be part of it and whenever you use your heart in an Italian style you might remember that the quintessence of Italian food is the celebration of fresh and tasteful quality food. Infinite variations with one cultural heart - and some dishes might even vary from cook to cook or family to family. An Italian cook never just follows written recipes but his taste and his spontaneity. So lay out your Braun Multiquick 5 hand blender and start inventing your own real Italian menu.