The History of Italian Food
Early origins Tracing down the culinary history of Italy we find that it started to make its mark during the Roman Empire movement more than 2000 years ago. The Italians even have a cookbook dating back to the first century B.C which shows how important a place food had in society. The structure of Italy as a country underwent a huge change after the fall of the Roman Empire. Italy was now a body of individually governed states that had separate and distinctive identities and hence developed their own tradition. This era was the time when the cuisine of Italy started developing its diversity that we find in it today. Each region developed its own distinctive style of cooking and a formalized menu based on the local ingredients and the lifestyle of the people living there.
Regional Italian food Tuscan beef is an item belonging to the north whereas black truffles originated in the Marches. The south is credited for producing mozzarella cheese and provolone along with a rich growth of citrus fruits. There was great variance even amongst the most commonly consumed items in Italy such as the different types or breads and pastas with the southern part of Italy preferring hard boiled spaghetti and the northern regions being more akin to consuming soft egg noodles. Pizza originated from Naples, tortellini from Bologna and Milan is famous for risotto.
Through the course of time, however, Italian cuisine has evolved into a breed of its own due to a large amount of external influences. The Italians had initially absorbed ancient Greek cookery into their culture. With Roman ships bringing back wheat, wine, fine spices and other exotic ingredients, the Italians added new imports to their kitchens. They even got their ingredients from as far as China.