當地所用的各種方言，甚至完全不同的語言（Valle d'Aosta瓦萊達奧斯塔大區使用法語，Alto Adige上阿迪傑則使用德語），證實了義大利北部曾經歷多種文化的洗禮。皮埃蒙特、利古里亞（Liguria）、倫巴底（Lombardia）以及西北方的艾米利亞（Emilia），其飲食都受到法國料理的影響；而奧地利與匈牙利的風格則可從三威尼斯區（Tre Venezie，由威尼托大區、佛里烏利－威尼斯朱利亞大區以及特倫提諾－上阿迪傑大區所組成），至東北部的料理中可見一斑。不過，這塊廣大的地區仍以自身當地口味為主，料理傳統也因區域及城鎮而有所不同。
湯裡可有麵、米、義式玉米粥、麵包、蔬菜、豆子、肉類和海鮮。北部著名的湯品有威尼托大區與佛里烏利的麵條豆子湯（Pasta e Fagioli）、利古里亞大區和亞得里亞海的鮮魚濃湯、米蘭的牛肚湯（Busecca）、以及艾米利亞－羅馬涅大區精緻的Pasta in Brodo（漂浮在高湯裡的麵條）。
Bollito Miso是一道風靡幾乎整個北部區域的肉類佳餚，食材組合各顯差異，但不外乎以牛肉、小牛肉、豬肉香腸和家禽做變化；醬料也不同，從以香芹為主的Salsa Verde，到皮埃蒙特大區的番茄醬料Bagnet Ross、維洛那（Verona）的牛骨髓與辣椒醬料Peara，以及克雷莫納（Cremona）用水果蜜餞與芥末製成的Mostarda。再者，Fritto Misto也是各地方常見的料理，食材組合依地區而不同，但同樣不外乎是油炸肉類、乳酪、蔬菜、水果和酥皮點心。
The eight regions of what is loosely defined as northern Italy boast the nation's highest standard of living and its richest diet, in terms of both abundance and variety. The plains that extend along the Po and lesser rivers from Piedmont to the northern rim of the Adriatic proliferate with grain, corn, rice, fruit, livestock and dairy products. Vineyards on slopes along the great arc formed by the Alps and Apennines are Italy's prime source of premium wine.
The assortment of local dialects, or in some cases full-fledged languages (French in Aosta Valley, German in Alto Adige), attests to the historical heterogeneity of Italy's north. French influences remain in the recipes of Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy and Emilia to the northwest, just as Austro-Hungarian tangs linger in foods of the Tre Venezie (Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige) to the northeast. But local tastes rule in this vast territory where culinary customs vary from province to province and town to town.
Still, some generalisations might be made about northern cooking. Meat has prevailed over seafood in most places where butter and lard are the traditional fats. Exceptions must be made fro Liguria, with its exemplary Mediterranean diet, and the Adriatic strip where seafood and olive oil prevail. In most inland areas, diets have relied on a wholesome mix of grains, legumes, cheese, preserved fish and seasonal varieties of vegetables, mushrooms and herbs.
Pasta, rice, polenta and gnocchi figure in one form or another in the region's diet, though local preferences present a study in contrasts. Fresh pasta, usually made with eggs, prevails south of the Po in Piedmont, Liguria and, most gloriously, in Emilia-Romagna. Rice dominates in the flatlands of Lombardy and Piedmont, where it is usually braised and stirred as risotto, and in the Veneto, where it is often simmered in broth in dishes that range between risottos and thick soups.
Potenta, made from corn or also from buckwheat or chestnut flour, was the sustenance of northern country people for ages, eaten as a mush or porridge with cheese or sauces or sliced and fried or grilled to go with meat dishes. Today's polenta strongholds are the Tre Venezia and the Alpine flanks of Lombardy and Piedmont. Gnocchi are often based on potatoes, though dumplings are also made from semolino or ricotta and greens.
Soups may include pasta, rice, polenta, gnocchi, bread, vegetables, beans, meats or seafood. Prominent examples of northern soups are the noodle and bean Pasta e Fagioli of the Veneto and Friuli, the fish chowders of Liguria and the Adriatic coast, Milan's tripe-based Busecca and Emilia-Romagna's delicate Pasta in Brodo (afloat in broth).
A meat dish eaten nearly everywhere in the north is Bollito Misto. But the mix varies between beef, veal, pork sausages and poultry, while sauces range from parsley-based Salsa Verde to Piedmont's tomato red Bagnet Ross, Verona's beef marrow and pepper Peara and Cremona's candied fruit and mustard Mostarda. Fritto Misto is also eaten in most regions, though compositions of fried meats, cheese, vegetables, fruits and pastries are never the same from one place to another.
Pork plays a prime role in salt-cured meats, whose hallmark is Prosciutto from Parma and San Daniele, the salt-cured ham described as dolce due to the ripe flavour and soft texture that develop over a year or more of maturing. But the delights of Salumi range beyond pork to beef for the bresaola of Lombardy's Valtellina, as well as goat, goose and chamois for salamis and sausages.
Northern Italy is a paradise for cheese lovers. They may being with Parmigiano and Grana Padano, which account for a major share of national production, and nibble their way through blue-veined Gorgonzola, buttery Fontina, tangy Asiago and a vast array of mild, creamy, ripe and sharp cheeses, mainly from cows but also from sheep and goats.
肉類是中部飲食裡的主要材料，以南地區喜愛羔羊與小山羊，以北地區則偏好小牛肉與牛肉。托斯卡納大區的傳奇佳餚Bistecca alla Fiorentina，就是以Chianina小公牛所烹調。家禽與兔肉在各地都相當受歡迎，而野生鳥類、野兔和野豬，則在那些仍把打獵視為一種權利而非娛樂運動的區域裡，受到喜愛。豬肉是各地的重要食材，肉販利用溫布利亞大區內的城市諾爾恰（Norcia）流傳出的完美技巧製作薩拉米香腸。此外馬爾凱大區、拉吉歐大區、溫布利亞大區及托斯卡納大區都自稱是Porchetta的發源地，這是一道把整隻豬去骨後，塞入大蒜、野生茴香、粗鹽和胡椒粒，再放入以木頭燃燒的烤爐中，慢慢烘烤而成的一道菜。
The diet in all six regions of central Italy adheres to Mediterranean standards in the reliance on olive oil, grains and seasonal produce. But cooking styles vary markedly in a territory split into ethnical enclaves by the Apennines, the mountainous spine of the peninsula. Historical patterns still reflect in regional diets. As the national capital, Rome serves as an intermediary between north and south in political as well as culinary matters. Abruzzo and Molise show a southern touch in dishes that are decisively piquant. The Marches shares recipes with central neighbours, as well as Emilia-Romagna to the north. Tuscany and Umbria have tastes in common, though throughout the heartland cooks uphold traditions in local ways.
The ancient grain called Farro, the predecessor of hard wheat, is still used in soups. Until recent times, the chestnut was the leading staple of the diet in the uplands of the Apennines. Eaten roasted or boiled, chestnuts were also dried and ground into flour for Polenta, soups, last breads, cakes and pastries. They were even used to fatten pigs. Today, of course, wheat is the base of pasta and most bread, including the unsalted loaves unique to Tuscany, Umbria and the Marches.
Overall the use of pasta is about evenly split between dried and fresh types in the central regions, where rice and Polenta play secondary roles. Abruzzi and Molise have solid traditions of maccheroni. In Latium, Spaghetti, Bucatini and Molise have solid traditions of maccheroni. In Latium, spaghetti, Bucatini and Rigatoni share the spotlight with Rome's egg-based Fettuccine. Dried pasta is produced in quantity in Umbria and the Marches, though cooks still often hand roll the dough for Tagliatelle and local delights. Homemade noodles are also preferred in Tuscany, a place where bread historically outweighed pasta.
Fine olive oil is made though the central hills, though the paragon of extra virgin comes from Tuscany, Umbria, northern Latium and Abruzzi. Garden produce is rigorously seasonal. Rome is renowned for artichokes and peas, and the Marches for lentils, chickpeas and potatoes. The central Apennines are a major source of truffles, both the prized white varieties found in the Marches and parts of Tuscany and black varieties that thrive in Umbria.
Consumption of fresh seafood was historically confined to coastal areas. Each Adriatic port boasts a local recipe for the fish soup. But even in inland places, such as landlocked Umbria, cooks made good use of preserved anchovies, tuna, sardines and salt cod.
Meat plays a key role in regional diets, with preferences for lamb and kid to south and veal and beef to the north. In Tuscany, the Chianina steers provide the legendary Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Poultry and rabbit are appreciated everywhere, as are game birds, hare and wild boar in regions where hunting is still considered more a birthright than a sport. Pork is prominent everywhere, in the salumi made by butchers whose ancient craft was perfected in the Umbrian town of Norcia. The Marches, Latium, Umbria and Tuscany all claim the origins of Porchetta, a whole pig boned and stuffed with garlic, wild fennel, rock slat and peppercorns and roasted slowly in wood-burning ovens.
Pecorino is the dominant cheese in all regions, though styles range from soft, young Marzolino (made from milk of sheep or goats grazed on green grass in early Spring) to firm and tangy types to aged Pecorino Romano, hard and sharp and used mainly for grating.
義大利南部 & 島嶼
SOUTHERN ITALY & ISLANDS
義大利南部 & 島嶼
SOUTHERN ITALY & ISLANDS
義大利南部 & 島嶼
南部的地理分佈，以漫長的海岸線和內陸眾多的高山和丘陵，形成強烈對比。海邊的居民習慣吃海鮮，而山上的居民則以肉類為主，但這個界線有時是不明確的。第勒尼安海（Tirreno）與愛奧尼亞海（Ionio）的深海裡孕育著鮪魚和旗魚，較淺的海域則有甲殼類和軟體動物，可用來做可口的Frutti di Mare。鯷魚和沙丁魚是遍及南部的固定食材，而有趣的是，所有區域都有諾曼地人所引進的鱈魚乾食譜。
SOUTHERN ITALY & ISLANDS
The basic elements, olive oil, wine, cheese, grains, fruits and vegetables of the Mediterranean diet originated elsewhere but assumed its enduring character in Italy's south. The genius of southern cooking lies in the local individuality of everyday fare, the pure and simple preparations of foods whose flavours, aromas and colours capture the essence of the Mediterranean.
Olive oil is fundamental, but the symbol of southern cooking curiously enough, came to be the tomato, which arrived with peppers, beans and potatoes from America. The tomato found a promised land alongside the eggplant from Asia. The irresistible piquancy of southern food comes from herbs and spices, above all the tangs of garlic and chili peppers.
Noodles were preceded by flatbreads called Focaccia, forerunners of pizza, whose spiritual home (if not its place of origin) is Naples. Baked goods, including pastries, biscuits and cakes, abound in the Mezzogiorno, though nowhere as evidently as in Sardinia, where each village has its own styles of bread.
Arabs in Sicily established a pasta industry in the Middle Ages, using durum wheat for the dried types that still prevail in the south. Tubes and other forms of "short" pasta may be referred to generically as Maccheroni, distinguished from "long" types such as Spaghetti and Vermicelli. Also popular are spiral-shaped Fusilli, oblique tubes called Penne and larger tubed called Ziti or Zite, though variations make the pasta field as confusing as it is intriguing. Fresh pasta is also prized, sometimes made with eggs but more often not, in such familiar forms as Lasagna, Fettuccine and Ravioli.
Southern geography is marked by often sharp contrasts between rambling seacoasts and masses of mountains and hills that dominate the interior of most regions. Coastal dwellers have habitually eaten seafood and hill people meat, though preferences aren't always clear cut. Deep waters of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas render tuna and swordfish, shallower waters mollusks and crustaceans for the delectably fresh Frutti di Mare. Anchovies and sardines are fixtures through the south, though it's also curious to note that all regions have recipes for the dried cod apparently introduced by the Normans.
Historically, meat had been used thriftily in the south, where every part of the animal is still rendered edible. Prime cuts of veal and beef are rare and prized. Lamb and kid are the glories of the hill country, grilled, roasted, braised or stewed in ragouts to be served with pasta. Poultry is popular, as are game birds, boar and hare where available. But the perennial provider has been the pig, preserved in all manner of sausages and salamis (often spicy), hams, salt pork and lard that in some places substitutes for olive oil in cooking.
Cheese is fundamental in southern diets. sheep provide Pecorino, which may be eaten at early stages of ripeness or aged to be used for grating. Goat's milk is the source of fresh goat's cheese. Ricotta, preferably from sheep, is eaten fresh or used ins asta fillings, pastries and desserts, though it is also salted and dried to be sliced or grated. The most prominent family of southern cheeses are the Pasta Filata types, which come mainly from cows. The exemplar is Mozzarella, originally (and still the best) from the milk of water buffalo.
No other sector of Italy boasts such a splendid heritage of sweets and ices. Many desserts bespeak the Arab and Greek influences in Sicily, with its almond pastes, candied fruits, Ricotta, honey, raisins and nuts. But anyone with a sweet tooth will find delights all over the south.