Poverty in Cooking


The roots of many famous Italian dishes are in the poverty of many Italian people, who nevertheless had the geniality to make wonderful dishes out of cheap ingredients and or leftovers. The same poverty that was the main reason for so many to leave the country, in search of fortune all over the world. This makes that there are more “Italians” outside Italy than in Italy itself. Well i mean with that of Italian origins. If someone is interested to read about the living conditions of the majority of the Italian population in the past, there are beautiful novels like Fontamara of Iniazio Silone or i Malavoglia of Verga.

Things for food changed when Italians arrived in the States, where food was more available. Soon portions became bigger, but also the recipes developed in many different directions. Also in Italy, the diet changed with the economic boom that took place after ww2, increasing the use of meat and making the veal the preferred kind. Today there is a rediscovery of these traditional recipes, for their unique taste, but also for their healthier ingredients. Simple and in many case easy to prepare they are loved at home and at restaurants. From the tradition of the past i prepared a list covering all the twenty different regions of the Italian boot. You will notice that they are all very different from each other using different ingredients, but all were born for the effort to eat well with poor means. Today the recipes sometimes use more noble ingredients, like for example the Sicilian couscous. Originally it was prepared from the leftovers of the fisherman using the fish heads for the broth. Well i imagine no one wants to do it today.

Welcome to this extraordinary Italian culinary trip

Buon appettito.

image bread  


  Sicily: Couscous

Basilicata: Pignata di Pecora

Calabria: Pasta with Anduja

Molise: Pasta e Fagioli

Puglia: Orecchiette con cima di Rapa

Campania: Pizza

Lazio: Pasta Cacio e Pepe

Sardegna: Fregula Sarda

Umbria: Bruschetta

Abruzzo: Maccheroni alla Chitarra

Toscana: Chicken Liver Pathes

Liguria: Pesto

Emilia Romagna: Fried Gnocco

Marche: Vincisgrassi

Piemonte: Bagna Cauda

Lombardia: Risotto Milanese

Trentino Alto Adige: Canederli

Friuli Venezia Giulia: Paparot

Veneto: Baccala

Valle D'Aosta: Fonduta


Italian recipes Index