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Italian Cuisine: More Varied Than You Think


Italians are famously loyal to their local cuisine. And by “local,” I’m not just talking about their country’s borders, either. While many Americans tend to think of “Italian food” as one big homogeneous Olive Garden menu, the regional differences are so strong that residents of one region often find the neighboring region’s recipes completely distasteful (however similar they might be). There are places in Italy where you won’t find a red sauce on the menu, and others where adding salt to bread is considered strange.

As if Italians weren’t regionalistic enough about their food, however, a new survey says that “one out of two Italians would like to see more local products on supermarket shelves.” This is partly due to a desire on the part of many Europeans to know precisely where the food they feed their family comes from, and I can’t help but think it’s also a way to keep the local market’s shelves full of only the regional products. Either way, it’s probably not a bad thing, and will make shopping for food souvenirs even easier. I mean, who wants to bring home a bottle of Ligurian pesto sauce only to discover it was made in New Jersey?