Northern VS Southern Italy: The Cuisine
Last time we wrote about the Cultural Differences between North and South Italy, now in this article, we will discuss the differences between the cuisine. Believe it or not, Italy is not just about pizza and pasta; there is actually a wide variety of delicious dishes that are incredibly unique to each region such as Valtellina Cuisine or Neapolitan food. Think about it, each region has their own unique abundance when it comes to ingredients, the areas where the Mediterranean Sea or Italian lakes are close, there will be a lot of seafood, or if you get closer to the Alpine region, there is a large variety of Italian Cheese you can get your hands on. Without further ado, here are the differences between Northern and Southern cuisine.
NORTHERN ITALIAN CUISINE
The North is known for the Alps and the abundance of Lakes in the region (Think of Lake Como and Lake Garda), as mentioned in the previous article, it is highly influenced by Germanic and Swiss culture. Unlike the South, where tomatoes, olive oil and pasta are very prominent - the most commonly used ingredients in the area are alpine cheese, meat and lard – creating creamy and stew-like dishes. So this means that polenta and risottos are more prevalent in comparison to pasta, there is even saying that Northerners are “Polentoni” (Polenta eaters) while the Southerners are “Mangiamaccheroni” (Macaroni Eaters). Some examples of dishes you can find in Northern Italy are Pizzoccheri, Fonduta, Risotto Alla Milanese, Cotoletta Alla Valdostana and more. In the Valtellina valley, they use ingredients like buckwheat to create buckwheat pasta and casera cheese to add flavour to their dishes. More stunning ingredients you can find here are porcini mushrooms, truffles and chestnuts.
SOUTHERN ITALIAN CUISINE
Though the North is known for its use of meats and cream sauce, the South utilises its warm weather and the sea. The North is where pizza and pasta originated from and is still very popular among the Southerners. All over the world, Neapolitan pizza is the image of pizzas with the round crust! So give thanks to the Neapolitans for the invention. Due to the South being closer to the Mediterranean Sea, it has dramatically influenced the ingredients that are popular in this area – such as olive oil, fish, pasta, vegetables and minimal meat. Due to the longer growing season of the South, growing vegetables and plantations are quite famous and are often incorporated into the dishes. Some dishes you can try are Pasta Puttanesca (from Campania), Orecchiette pasta (from Puglia), Agnello Cacio Uova e Piselli (from Molise) or even Sardinian clam stew.