What Makes Italian Food Authentic?
Italian food speaks for itself: it's the most popular cuisine in the world. Whether you're an Italian person cooking up family recipes at home or a food-lover who loves to go to restaurants, you can't go wrong with some good old authentic Italian.
But how can you tell when an Italian restaurant is authentic?
If you're looking at going to an Italian restaurant near you this weekend, you want the best Italian food. You may be wondering if you're going to get authentic Italian cuisine or an imitation but don't know how to spot the difference.
This article will walk you through a brief introduction to authentic Italian cuisine.
Italian? Or Italian-American
One of the things that has made it tough to pick out authentic Italian food is the prominence of Italian-American culture.
Italian-Americans have had a huge part in American popular culture of the late 20th century. Because of this, many people in America have a tough time differentiating between authentic Italian culture and Italian-American culture.
Many of what we associate with the foods we associate with Italy are Italian-American inventions. Some of these foods are spaghetti and meatballs and chicken marsala.
But it's not just the meals themselves. Italian-Americanisms have slipped their way into dishes that could be more authentic. Watch out for excess, Italian food is more about moderation.
Some Italian-Americanisms are boatloads of sauce, copious amounts of garlic and butter, and excessive amounts of cheese. Italian food itself is seasonal. You'll most likely eat tomatoes, truffles, and artichokes when it's the right time for them in the year.
Another good tell of Italian-American food is pasta. Authentic Italian cuisine considers pasta its own course. Only in Italian-Amerian restaurants will you find overloaded pasta as an entre.
The best way to tell the difference between an authentic Italian restaurant and a "red sauce joint" is to look at the restaurant. If you notice a variety of meals, which look healthy and fulfilling, and have many different recipes and flavors, it's more likely authentic.
Just check out our seafood section. Many imitation Italian restaurants don't even realize that seafood dishes are some of Italy's most prized dishes. Because of this, the public doesn't know the difference either.
Let's get one thing straight: Italian American food isn't bad. We love spaghetti and meatballs smothered in sauce and Parmigiano as much as the next person. The culture of Italian-American food developed from real Italian immigrants who didn't have time to cook things the old-fashioned way.
However, it is important to know the difference between the Italian-American tradition and the authentic Italian.
Order Authentic Italian Food
The world loves Italian food, there's no use denying it. However, how many of these people have tried authentic Italian food?
There's nothing wrong with Italian-American food, but it's always best if you know exactly what you're eating. It's also good to expand your horizons. Next time you go out for Italian, try authentic Italian.
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