Italian cuisine is simple. My Italian friend gasped when she opened up my heavily stocked spice cupboard typical of American households. “Why would anyone need so many spices?!” she complained. (After visiting her kitchen I clearly understood why she was overwhelmed. Her spice cupboard only included salt, pepper, basil, thyme, parsley, nutmeg and saffron – okay, there was some cinnamon in there for cakes).
Yet, despite the simplicity of Italian dishes, it is perhaps the most celebrated cuisine in all of the world. To taste it in its authentic form is as big of a draw for tourists as Pisa’s leaning tower.
One of the reasons Italy continues to be known for its food is the attention Italians give to their fine ingredients. Each of the 20 regions of Italy is committed to cultivating a number of high quality products that capitalize on the variety of climates available in such a small country. We’ve highlighted just a few you should definitely keep an eye out for as you travel.
Traveling to Italy? Try these products in each region…
Even with all of these featured ingredients there are so many more. Things like licorice (Abruzzo), Modena balsamic vinegar (Emilia-Romagna), Limoncello liquor (Campania), seafood (Liguria), Gorgonzola cheese (Lombardy), and the famous Florentine Steak (Tuscany). All in all, there are 295 certified food products in Italy, ranking highest in number for all of Europe.