One of the main problems I have found with Italian food is that no one ever really knows what Italian food really is. When I ask anyone they always say dishes like pasta, polenta, risotto, pizza, gnocchi, and so on . . . . but in Italy these dishes are only eaten in certain regions. Italian people never consider themselves Italian, they are Tuscan, Calabrese, Sicilian or Sardo . . . never just Italian, this is just the same with Italian food, take for example a simple Italian product . . . Pasta. Every Italian eats it, but look a little deeper and you find it's a minefield of tradition, heritage, politics and geography. Pasta can be either fresh or dried, but to Italians it's fresh in Northern Italy and dried in Southern Italy, then there are the shapes, in Northern Italy fresh pasta is made into Ravioli, Agnolotti, Cannelloni, Tortellini, Cappeletti and so on!!!. In Southern Italy it is Linguine, Farfalle, Buccatini, Fusilli, Tubetti . . . the list is endless.
Click on the links below to find out a little more about the foods and the ingredients of Italy's twenty very different regions.