It's been a long time since I've participated but I thought I'd try to join all of you again. I met some cool people and saw lovely blogs while doing this before. My list today, based on this TT picture, is about Italian food and why I love it!
- Italian food is very fresh! They use almost no packaged, processed foods in their preparation.
- I love PASTA! Nothing like it. I've tried the whole wheat pasta, which is OK, actually it's pretty good, but I love traditional semolina/flour pasta.
- It's very versatile. If you have pasta you can do all kinds of dishes by just varying the sauce. It can be as simple as some butter and parmesan cheese. Or with a tomato sauce or marinara. Or you could do a clam sauce, or even a cream/butter/parmesan sauce.
- Fresh herbs. They use a lot of fresh herbs in preparation or even at the end for color and taste. Herbs like oregano, basil, italian parsley.
- Lasagna. Who doesn't like layers of ooey gooey cheese, between layers of pasta ribbons, with a tasty meat sauce and tomatoes, and then...more cheese.
- Gelato~It's the italian version of ice cream and it's usually lighter and less fattening. I also like that it's soft and I like soft, melty ice cream.
- Charcuterie~I love their meats, bologna, salumi, italian sausage, cappacola
- Prosecco~The italian champagne. It's lovely, light, and not so sweet.
- Family style~Many times a dish is served family style, meaning instead of making individual plates, you just serve it on a large warmed platter and everyone passes the dish around and takes what they like.
- Cheese~who doesn't like fontina, and romano and then the parmesan. Regianno Parmesano in particular has a huge history and it continues to be the best parmesan available.
- Olive Oil~how could I have a list like this and not have olive oil on the list. They use olive oil, mainly the extra virgin olive oil for flavor, not just as a way to cook. A really good olive oil is full of flavor and dipping bread in it with some balsamic vinegar for flavor....oh, yum!
- Balsamic Vinegar~Again, they are very serious about their balsamic vinegar, there are vintages of balsamic. Some is aged and is quite decadent. It can be like a bottle of wine, it gets better with age and depending on the year and the circumstances can be quite expensive.
- Attitude~ A lot of the italian dishes came to be because of their attitude about food. Food is to be enjoyed, it's to entertain family and friends. It's comfort and it uses the best food at the best time and to the best advantage. It's survival. They do not like to waste food. The panzanela salad has used bread in it. It's still usable and it's enjoyed in this preparation. I love that it's about family and enjoying yourself.
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