Traditional Italian cuisine protection
Italian national cuisine is very delicious and famous worldwide. However, this leads to many imitations. Italy is the main promoter of EU policy on protection of traditional national foods for a reason.
Out of the hundreds of registered geography names in the EU at least one half belong to Italian national cuisine. Those include cheese, wine, ham, rice, fig, etc.
Protected origin names guarantee that the product has been produced in a determined area having the whole production under control from the first to the last stage.
There also are some traditional-specific foods. For them the guarantee ensures that the product has been produced for a very long time, minimum one century.
With new countries joining the EU after the political changes in Europe, the required minimum became 25 years. However, this change didn’t affect Italian national cuisine, given the example that the Pecorino cheese has a proven history since the 11th century.
For food with protected geography directions what is guaranteed is the preformance of a certain production stage in the geography area present in the name.
All three protected food types bear a round logo with the name written. The symbol for “Protected origin name” represents land – the relation to the determined geography area, as well as several stars that show the European origin.
Pizza should also be mentioned in this respect. In Italy there is a special protection law for traditional pizza. If the ingredients and spices are not exactly the determined ones, or if the proportion or preparation is different, the pizza cannot be defined as part of the Italian traditional cuisine.
Nevertheless, if we order Italian food, how to be sure that we’d enjoy real Italian cuisine and not an imitiation instead?
The best way to do it is to choose already renowned specialized restaurants such as Leonardo Italian restaurant in Bansko. Everything there is prepared by original Italian recipes and with Italian products.
Italian cuisine – infinity of varieties
The particular thing about Italian cuisine is that it is indeed composed by regional meals that spread countrywide and became Italian culinary emblems.
For example, Neapolitan, Roman and Sicilian pizzas all form part of the Italian national cuisine. The diversity is immense. Usually pizza contains cheese and tomatoes, but contemporary Italian cuisine has also added chocolate spread, cream, fruits. It should be considered that there are five billion pizzas sold yearly worldwide.
National Italian cuisine includes more than pizza and pasta, of course. There are amazingly delicious meals with meat, seafood, soups, and deserts. National Italian culinary list consists of meals originally from about 20 provinces of Italy.
More of them are at the coast line, but there are also plains and mountains. The relief determines certain climate suitable for the production of different products, different occupations and cooking traditions.
Foreign influences have accumulated over the centuries, starting from the Roman Empire that covered immense territory and borrowed elements from diverse traditions. In more recent past Italy was dominated by Spanish, French, Austrian, and apart from other influences, a natural culinary practices exchange happened. In Southern Italy there also is an Arab influence.
One of the main characteristics of the Italian national cuisine is that it uses a lot of vegetables, not only for salads or garnishing, but also in meals.
Tomatoes are the most important among them, although they arrived in Italy in the 16th century. In Southern Italy about 80% of the recipes include tomatoes.
Meals are not pretentious or extravagant combinations, what gives their unique taste is the manner of cooking along with the precisely chosen and dosed ingredients and specific Italian sauces that add extraordinary taste.