Italian cuisine is extremely diverse and regional in nature. The cuisine is also seasonal in that it makes use of the freshly available seasonal produce. A lot of pecorino (sheep milk cheese) is used in Roman cuisine as opposed to Tuscan cooking which features meat, white beans, and bread. Pizza crusts are thinner in Rome as compared to those in other regions. Northern and southern Italian cooking styles are differentiated by patterns. The North uses more butter and cream while the South uses more tomatoes. Below are some common features of Italian cuisine in the different regions.
Northern Italian Cuisine
The cuisine in the North is prepared lightly and in a simple manner, but it is extremely rich in dairy products. Examples include white truffles with eggs, risotto cooked in delicate broth, creamy polenta rich in butter and the famous bean soup.
Southern Italian Cuisine
The cuisine in the south is full of flavor and vibrant colors. Examples include pizza, pasta with red sauces, flavored mozzarella, and herbs.
Central Italian Cuisine
The food here is rustic, simple, and full of fruity olive oils and flavor. Examples include t-bone steak with olive oil, pepper and lemon, white beans with garlic and lasagna.
Italian Island Cuisine
There is a lot of sea influence in the cuisine, and many spices are used in cooking. Examples include sardines, squid with pasta, and veal chops with rosemary and garlic.
Bread is a common feature in each region at almost every meal. A mandatory element in every Italian cuisine is a cup of coffee known as espresso. Most meals are also accompanied by wine, which is chosen depending on the type of meal being eaten. The features of Italian cooking are many and varied depending on the region. Clearly, Italian cuisines are some of the most fascinating to prepare and to eat.