The Gourmet Products of Italy
By: Liz Flynn
Italians are well-known not only because of their love of food, but also the quality of the food they produce. There are some fantastic products made in this country that are enjoyed across the globe and here are some of the best.
Each country has different cheese that are made using milk from a variety of animals and a prepared in different ways. Italy can boast that there are over 450 different types of cheese produced in the country. Many of these are specific to only one region of the country and some have protected designated origin laws applied to them. This means that it is against the law for another region to replicate the product or give it the same name. Some of the best-known Italian cheeses include Mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, Fontina, Ricotta, and Gorgonzola.
Another category of famous Italian products is cured meat. Again, there are different varieties of cured meats produced across the regions of Italy. These are made using meat from various animals using different curing techniques. One of the most popular varieties of cured meats are made from pork. These include salami, prosciutto, pancetta, Parma, Friuli and lardo.
Of all the food made in Italy, pasta is probably the one item that is eaten the most in all four corners of the globe. Handmade Italian pasta comes in almost every size and shape imaginable. While it was once impossible to export fresh pasta, new methods of packaging, such as vacuum packing, have enabled the Italians to share this staple food with people around the world.
Olives and Olive Oil
The olives grown in Italy are some of the finest in the world. They are sold in a variety of forms to countries across the globe. They are also the product used to create olive oil. Again, the extra virgin olive oil that is made by the Italians is considered the best in the world. While other forms of oil are used simply as a component needed for frying food, olive oil is used as an important ingredient that adds flavor to a dish. It is also used, along with other flavors, as a dressing.
When thinking of ingredients that add a touch luxury to a dish, truffles are one of the first things that spring to mind. Some regions in Italy have an abundance of truffles and this is enough not only to fulfill local demand but also to supply other countries with this luxury ingredient.
This is a category of Italian foods that covers a wide range of different products. The category encompasses sauces, preserved foods, and seasonings. The Italians are famous for their delicious pasta sauces and these are exported around the world. In Italy, they preserve almost any food items from seafood to vegetables. They do this using oil, brine or vinegar. Other popular items that are considered ‘condimenti’ include balsamic vinegar, canned tomatoes, and tomato puree.