Real Italian cuisine is a culinary ceremony. Italians prefer a leisurely meal, consisting of several dishes. The kitchen itself is characterized by an incredible combination of tastes, smells, colors and textures. Virtually every dish, be it seafood, pasta, bread, soups, meat or cereal, is always seasoned with aromatic spices.
Where to begin. We will not give in this article recipes for Italian dishes, as they can be found in abundance on the Internet. We will try to introduce you to the main spices that are used in the preparation of Italian cuisine.
Despite the fact that in Italy there are 20 separate regions, which means no less than 20 different culinary schools, some spices are used everywhere. Here are the most popular ones:
Basil. Probably the most important spice in Italian cuisine. The taste and smell of basil distinguishes such Italian dishes as minestrone (vegetable soup), pasta, sauces, salads, bread, pickles. You will always find it near oregano. And this is the traditional base for the famous pesto. Oregano. Despite the fact that it is quite a strong spice, oregano in Italian cuisine goes very well with other herbs, especially with basil. Oregano can be found in almost all dishes containing tomatoes, as well as in many sauces, soups, dishes with meat, fish, eggs, pizza and vegetable dishes (especially with eggplants).
Parsley. Due to its vibrant color and smell, parsley is often used as a side dish, it is also seasoned with soups, marinades for meat, salads and pasta sauces. At the heart of one of the traditional Italian sauces is parsley, anchovies and garlic.
Garlic. Garlic can be found in recipes of different nations. However, in the Mediterranean cuisine, it is simply indispensable. It can be used in sauces, soups, salads, casseroles, bread, cereals, croutons. Another proof of this is that in Italy there is garlic in flakes, granules and powder!
Italian seasoning mixes. For convenience of preparation, there are many already selected mixtures of seasonings. They season the dishes, sprinkle bread, add in the cooking process. Necessary utensils.
Usually nothing special for Italian cuisine is required. All the same pans, knives and garlic press that you use every day will do.
Olive oil. The cornerstone of Mediterranean cuisine. Olive oil is used for frying, for dressing salads, as a dip. Very appreciated for its beneficial properties. Olive oils are divided into regions, depending on where they are produced. Almost like wine!
Tomatoes. This is the basis for many Italian dishes. Dried tomatoes are a very convenient way to store these vegetables, to be added to soups, sauces and casseroles in the future. They have an expressive taste that is brighter than fresh tomatoes. In many recipes, cooks prefer to use dried tomatoes.