Introduction to theItalian Regions
& the Recipes
Italy is divided in twenty regions and each region is divided
Above Liguria and Emilia-Romagna are the Northern Italian Regions;
above Latium and Molise are included the Central Italian
Regions, Campania , Puglia and the remaining regions are designated as the Southern
Italian Regions. The Italia Insular comprises the main islands
of Sicily and Sardinia .
Italian cuisine is divided into 20 regional cuisines and
each regional cooking is further sub-divided into as many towns, villages and even households which makes defining
what is Italian or regional cuisine a complicated task.
Cooking styles could be empirically separated in North
Italian Cuisine, which include all the regions above the Po River, the Central Italian cuisine of Emilia –Romagna
Tuscany, Latium, Marche and Umbria influenced by the Etruscan and Roman way of cooking and the Southern Italian
cuisine where the affect of the Samnite and Greeks is present in Campania, Abruzzo, Molise, Basilicata, Apulia and
Although Sardinia was occupied by many invaders, the culture, cuisine and
life style remained attached to the old traditions with a modest influence to all foreign
Sicily , the other main island, has a particular history of
dominations and transformations: most of the time the conquerors became conquered by the beauty of the nature, the
people, the traditions, and they made Sicily their own homeland.
The Romans conquered the Italian peninsula, unified it
into a central government and called it Italy . The Romans, who were concerned with results of their
conquest, gave their subjects enough personal liberty to make them feel free. They imposed the Roman laws,
collected taxes and gave their subjects the benefits of their skill in architecture and engineering by building
aqueducts, sewer systems and theaters, reclaiming land and planning cities. Although Latin became the official
language, each village had and used their own dialect and the conquered pursued their traditions, religion, and
identity. Even though Italy was unified as one nation in 1860, these characteristics
are still surviving and reflected in the various dialects, in the competition among regions, cities, villages and
in the diversity of cooking.
Some regions are treated extensively because of recent
visits or contributions by lovers of Italy ’s natural beauty and of the arts, folklore, culture and
also importantly the cuisine.
want to publish and share with others a recipe of your Italian region, or a story of your traveling
experiences, get in touch with www.Siciliancookingplus.com and we will publish your article or recipe.
Introduction to Italian Regional
Included in this chapter are some of the
family’s dishes cooked by Terry, my wife who was born in Ferrara; other recipes are dishes that my
mother-in-law had in her cooking repertoire; Mrs. Danila Occhiali’s mother was originally
from Tuscany and she and her father’s family
were natives from Emilia-Romagna .
When working at the focacceria, Joe’s of Avenue U in Brooklyn, NY, our family eatery, we prepared
some well-liked, not strictly Sicilian dishes, adapted to the Sicilian taste and adopted from famous Italian
recipes popular in Italy and beyond.
In fact we prepared and served lasagna
Bolognese, North Italian style veal dishes, baked vegetables, artichokes Roman style
and scungilli to name a few dishes.
In most European cooking, the
preparation of food either professional or homemade follows precise rules dictated by practice and traditions. On
the contrary in Italy in each locality and in each
settlement of the Italian peninsula the cooking reflects the history of its people: their origin and a reason
for their traditions and eating habits.
In France cooking is almost a science with
strict standards followed religiously by their executors. It is like a piece of classical music where
variations are very minor accordingly to the ability of the piano player and noticed by an expert music lover
or on the table by a sophisticated
The music played by Italian cooks is
Soul music played by ears, following the theme
and rhythm and executed each following his or her own individual judgment.
Italian cooking is artistry: in professional or home cooking fantasy, originality and know-how are used to create
delightful dishes, at times substituting or combining a few ingredients and exploring new dimensions
in the sense of taste.