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Southern Italy Gastronomy

Work in progress
~ The food of the south ~
- La semplice cucina rustica meridionale, simply poor...simply rich -
 
Each region is loyal to its specialties and ingredients. Recipes change from the mountains to the coast, from the south to the north, and the mainland to the islands.
Italy is also the home of the Slow Food  Movement, which champions the cause of regional food and tradition.  Indeed, the whole  country is undergoing a nostalgia for regional cooking and for cucina povera ( the food of poorer southern Italy).
  • Introduction
  • Regional cuisine
  • Whats cooking this week
  ~The  taste of traditions~
 
There are lands that can still narrate the flavor of 
history and traditions. From the beginning, the Mediterranean Sea has been the channel of communication for Europe, sprinkling the territories that were to be the sea ports where civilization grew.

 

Nowadays it is still possible to taste the sensations of our historical roots. Hidden in peasantry hinterlands, the cultural paths of our forefathers survives.
The various regional cuisines all have something special to offer,  from quick and easy pasta dishes to more elaborate delicacies such fish soups. 
 
Abruzzo, Molise, Campania , Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia make up Italy's South, home to robust cucina povera ( peasant cooking), and a wonderful cuisine that was created from whatever was available: sun-riped vegetables and fruits, wheat for dried pasta and local cheeses. 

Here are a few good reasons why rustic Italian regional cooking has been widely adopted worldwide. 
Its easy, good, tasty, diverse and its healthy without even trying to be.
 
ABRUZZI e MOLISE - Formerly counted  as just one region, these two regions have an interior of mountains with river valleys, high plateau, densely forested areas, and a costal plain. 
The cuisine here is deeply traditional, with local hams and cheeses from the mountain areas, interesting sausages with plenty of garlic and other seasonings, cured meats, and wonderful fish and seafood, which is the main produce of the coastal areas. Lamb features widely: tender, juicy, and well-flavored with herbs.​
CAMPANIA - Naples is the home of pasta dishes, served with many variation of tasty tomato sauce. It is where pizza was created. 
Fish abounds, with  frittura di pesce being a typic dish of the area along a variety of shellfish served with pasta.
Cutlets and steaks are usually served with strong sauces usually flavored with garlic, tomatoes and herbs with the famous 'pizzaiola',  the all time favorite. Local fresh mozzarella is used to create the crispy 'mozzarella in carrozza' another trademark of Campania. 
Very popular are also sweet dishes, often with flaky pastry and Ricotta cheese, seasonal fruit salads laced with wine or local produced liqueur.
BASILICATA - This is a sheep-farming area, mainly mountainous, where  strong wines are produced to accompany a robust cuisine largely based on pasta, lamb, pork, game and abundant dairy produce. 
The salamis and cured meats are of course excellent. Lamb is flavored with herbs and grasses on which it feeds.
Wonderful thick soups - true minestrone-are produced in the mountains and plentiful eel and fish from the lakes. The unsophisticated tasty cheeses might not be an household name but are still produced following old customs and know how.
PUGLIA - The ground is stony but produces good fruits, olive groves, vegetables, herbs, and from the sea, a vast amount of seafood.
I Pugliesi (the Puglians) are known to be big pasta eaters  and many dishes are exclusive to the region.
Oysters and mussels are plentiful and so is octopus. Brindisi is famous for its shellfish, both the seafood salads and risottos are truly memorable.
The well known Pane di Altamura is a type of bread made from durum flour from the Altamura area in the province of Bari. It was granted PDO status within Europe.
By law, it must produced as to a range of demands, including particular varieties of wheat, certain specification of water and production method, and then have a final crust over 3mm in thickness, shape tends not to be important.
CALABRIA - This is the toe of Italy, where orange, lemon and bergamotto groves flourish along with olive trees and a profusion of vegetables, especially eggplants which are cooked in a variety of ways.
Mushrooms grow well here and Calabria is Italy's biggest producers.
Fresh pasta comes with a great variety of sauces including baby artichokes, eggs, meat, cheese, mixed vegetables and the famous peperoncino (chili pepper) and the sweet onion of Tropea.
Famous are the salami such as the soppressata and the fiery 'Nduja from Spilinga a spreadable  sausage used to as welcome snack or add flavor to any past dish.
The fish is excellent too and fresh tuna and swordfish are available, along with many other varieties. Like most southerners, Calabrians are sweet-toothed and many  dessert are flavored with anisetta, honey, almonds and figs.
SICILY - This is the largest island in the Mediterranean and the cuisine is based mainly on fish and vegetables.
Fish soups, stews,and salads appear in unlimited forms, including tuna, swordfish, mussels and many more; citrus fruits are widely grown along with the red oranges, almonds and pistachio nuts, and the array of local wines, including the dark sweet Marsala. Meat is often given a long, slow cooking, game is plentiful and cooked in sweet sour sauces containing local black olives. Pasta abounds with more unusual sauces as well as the old favorites. Sicilians also have a weakness for sweets, especially ice creams. 
Cassata and other ice creams from Sicily are famous all over the world, and the huge variety of flavors of both cream ices and granita makes it difficult to decide which is your favorite.
SARDINIA - A beautiful island crowned with a wealth of flowers in spring, but the landscape dries out in the summer under the hot sun.

The national dish is suckling pig or new born lamb cooked on an open fire spit, and rabbit, game,  also popular a variety of meat dishes.
The sweet dishes are numerous and delicate, and for non sweet-eaters there is plenty of fresh fruit.
Fish is top, with excellent sea bass, lobsters, tuna, mullet, eels and mussels.
The island has a hunting aroma which drifts from kitchens-it is myrtle, a local herb which is added to anything and everything from chicken to local liqueur; and along with the wonderful cakes and breads of Sardinia, myrtle will remain in your memory long after you have left the island.
Find out ( cosa bolle in pentola) what's  cooking this week >>>
By  Giovanna Bianco - Calabria 
 
~ Batter-fried salted cod bites - Bocconcini di baccalà in pastella ~

SERVINGS : 4

 
Salted cod needs to soak in water for 2 to 3 days, discarding the water  and replacing it  at least twice per day.  It is suggested using  the  thickest part of the fish.

 

 ~ Ingredients at glance ~
 
Cod
Flour
Beer
Egg
Salt

 

A versatile idea, it can  be a bite-size snack, an appetizer or a second course fish dish.
These batter-fried salted cod bites are really tasty.  
My mother prepares these savory delights  often and they are always present on our holiday table.
We cook the soaked and boiled fish in a wide variety of ways, most commonly with potatoes and onions in a casserole, as croquettes, or as battered, deep-fried pieces.
 
Selected song (for that Italian mood).

  Get started
 
500 gr previously soaked salted cod​

150 gr flour

 2 cups beer

 1 egg white 

Salt

 Fast-rising yeast
 
 
Freshly ground black pepper
 
 
Peanut/vegetable oil for frying​
Preparation
1) Rinse the fish under running water, dry off the excess water using a paper towel. Remove the skin, the  bones and cut  it into cubes.
2) Place the  flour in a bowl with some salt and gradually add the cold beer. Carefully fold the egg whites beaten   to stiff peaks into the batter.Add some freshly cracked  black pepper and a pinch of the yeast.
3) To keep the batter cold, place the bowl in a larger bowl which contains ice. Place the cod pieces in the batter.
4)  Fry them in a sufficient amount of very hot oil. Drain the pieces on paper towel, sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
 Any  suggestions?
  Buon Appetito

Please visit  Giovanna's blog for more creative recipes


 

 



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Ai  nostri  visitatori piace il Sud Italia, vuoi  dire loro qualcosa?
La vetrina ideale per promuovere i vostri prodotti e servizi sul mercato Nord Americano ma che  potrebbe essere un punto di visibilità anche nei vari mercati internazionali.
 
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sono pregati di  mettersi in contatto  usando il  modulo sottostante .

Per saperne di piu'...
 
Il nostro obiettivo e' quello di promuovere prodotti tipici del Sud in un contesto di marketing globale, e allo stesso tempo proporre il nostro Meridione come alternativa turistica, ben consapevoli che il successo dell'uno è essenziale per il successo dell'altro.​

AZIENDE - PRODUTTORI - STRUTTURE RICETTIVE 
GUIDE TURISTICHE - TOUR OPERATORI 

 
 
Our primary objective is to promote typical Southern  products in a global marketing context, and at the same time propose our land as a tourist alternative, well aware that the success of one is essential to the success of the other.
 

La vetrina ideale per promuovere i vostri prodotti e servizi sul mercato Nord Americano ma che potrebbe essere un punto di visibilità anche nei vari mercati internazionali.


AZIENDE - PRODUTTORI - STRUTTURE RICETTIVE  
GUIDE TURISTICHE - TOUR OPERATORI 


Paesi di provenienza dei  visitatori in ordine numerico.

Stati Uniti - Canada - Italia - Gran Bretagna - Australia 
China - Germania - Francia - Nuova Zelanda - Olanda


Ai  nostri  visitatori piace il Sud Italia, vuoi  dire loro qualcosa?

Coloro interessati ad inserire la loro attivita'/azienda/ nel sito   
sono pregati di  mettersi in contatto  usando il  modulo sottostante .


Per  saperne di piu' 
 
Typical Southerners products :
 
Basilicata
       
Apulia
Sicily
Sardinia
       
mustaccioli calabresi
cured meats
pasta and pizza
Bergamotto
       
soft cheese
sea products
sweets
pasta making
       
soft drinks 
olive oil
liqueur
wine
 

 Of interest.
 
origins of olive oil 
wine making cheese making 
history of licorice  
       
The Italian 'sounding' syndrome ​

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