BLOG POST 2 Pop Italian Food Writing
Italian cuisine… all it consists of is noodles, marinara sauce, meatballs, right? Wrong! Italian cuisine is full of rich tradition that most people are not aware of.
I grew up learning about italian cuisine from the Disney movie, Lady and the Tramp, where the two dogs share an italian meal of spaghetti and meatballs. Sadly that shaped my perception of what Italian food really was, until I experienced REAL Italian cuisine for the first time studying abroad.
Tasting the real, Italian food at local restaurants was an amazing experience that changed my view of Italian food for the better. What truly changed my view of Italian food was participating in a cooking class through my AIFS studying abroad program at the In Tavola Cooking School located in Florence, Italy.
What did we make? Our meal consisted of potato brocatelle, fresh egg pasta, spinach & ricotta filled ravioli and panna cotta with chocolate rum sauce. Can you say yum?!
I did not realize how much detail and appreciation went into making Italian food, but also the simplicity and quality of the food as well. Each dish was made with the freshest and purest ingredients that would not have been used if it was a frozen Italian style dinner from the grocery store.
The potato brocatelle was made with quality potatoes, delicious parmesan cheese, oregano and other fresh tasting ingredients. This dish turned out light, fluffy and airy. It was warm, with just the right amount of parmesan and oregano.
The spinach & ricotta filled ravioli was another to die for dish. This dish contained spinach, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, pepper and nutmeg. These simple ingredients blended together beautifully to create an simple, amazing tasting dish. I appreciated this dish and how it was prepared in Italy, versus The United States because it used few ingredients but turned out delicious.
Getting served the dessert called panna cotta with chocolate rum sauce was the best way to end the meal. This dessert was small but bursting with flavor. The base consisted of a creamy, vanilla, custard like base and a rich chocolate sauce on top. This was a small dessert, but because of how fresh it tasted, I did not need seconds to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Throughout this cooking process I learned that less is more. I learned that a few, quality ingredients put together tastes so much more delightful that a typical American meal where it is smothered in grease or unhealthy sauces. I was able to enjoy the flavor of the dish as a whole because of the pure, fresh ingredients. Also because of the small portions, it caused me to savor each bite and truly made me appreciate each dish I tried.