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Cuisine of the 20 Regions of Italy

Italy is made up of 20 regions with distinct characteristics; each region makes the same dish in vastly different ways and each one has its proudest specialty. These cooking traditions define people’s identities just as much as their dialects and traditional costumes. Local cooking preferences and customs are shaped by geographic, historical and climactic differences. For example, some regions are landlocked and mountainous, while others hug the sea and are hilly; some regions live under the dazzling Mediterranean sun most of the year and others have cold winters, snow and harsh winds. This has led to a rich diversity in regional Italian cuisine.

Celebrate your Italian heritage by preparing dishes from various regions of Italy. Teach your children and grandchildren about their Italian ancestors by making dishes from the region your family emigrated from. If you do not see the region this week don’t worry; we will bring you recipes from every region of Italy.

The series will go from the north of Italy through central Italy to the south and to its islands. This week we open up with the North East, which features the regions of Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Aldige and Veneto. Famous cities in each of the regions include Parma, Bologna and Modena in Emilia Romagna; Trieste, Udine and Pordenone in Friuli Venezia Giulia; Trento, Merano and Bolzano in Trentino-Alto Aldige and Venice, Verona and Padua in Veneto.

It is important to note that it is very difficult to make selections from the Emilia Romagna because it is the cooking capital of Italy and there are so many delicious recipes from this region. We narrowed it down to two of our favorites. Please note that the Bolognese sauce of Emilia Romagna differs drastically from the interpretations here in America. Enjoy exploring North Eastern Italy through the delicious recipes below.



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