Italian cuisine: truth and tradition
It seems that nowadays everybody is an expert of italian cuisine. Even we think we are experts, but we are not. The only thing in our favour is that we really are Italian, and we have eaten real italian food for the past 20-30 years.
But why Italians are so picky about their food? Why do they whine so much about people from other countries modifying their recipes?
You see: when you think you’re good at something, and you go proud of your products, it can be really harmful for your reputation if somebody try to make a bad copy of your trademarks and sell it as “Italian food”.
Italian cuisine is a very profitable business and it’s therefore understandable that everybody will be constantly trying to get on board. The problem is: in Italy, every food has to be made in a very peculiar way.
You can’t just make some kind of cheese and name it “Parmigiano Reggiano” (which is the italian name of “Parmesan”). If you want to sell something with this name, it will have to meet some very specific requirements.
Unfortunately, outside Italy this isn’t true, especially outside Europe.
What are the risks?
- You think you’ll eat something good because you know the name and “it sounds italian”, but not only your expectations may not be met, you may even end up with food poisoning (if you’re really unlucky)
- If you eat something that looks italian (but it’s not), and you don’t like it, the next time you’ll see something italian (and it is) you will maybe avoid it.
There are literally tons of fake italian food out there and sometimes it can be tricky to spot the difference from the real one.
Here is the golden rule:
Check out the back of the box an try to find where and who produced that food. If it is produced outside Italy, that’s a yellow flag. If also the company who produced it is outside Italy, that’s a damn red flag.
Again: Italians are very proud of their products, so they would never change their names. Parmesan, for example, is not Parmigiano. There is no such thing in Italy as: “linguini” (real name “linguine”), “bolognese sauce” (a bad copy of ragù), “gnocchi pasta” (just “gnocchi”). The list can go on and on for soooo long you can’t even imagine: Alfredo sauce, spaghetti sauce, greasy things, salami, weird looking sausages, italian wedding sauce.. what?? The only things that come in cans in Italy are:
- plain tomato sauce
that’s it, Nothing else! So if it is in a can, and it’s not one of those products, avoid!
Don’t think that the price is a good way to figure out if that food is really typical or not. It’s one thing if you wasted few money while being ripped off, it’s a completely different thing if they even made you pay a lot.
We’ll come back more on the subject later on.
In the meantime relax and enjoy your local food, it will be surely better than these italian fakes!