Culinary Traditions Of South America: Argentina

Argentina is South America’s second largest country, snugly situated between the Andes mountain range, the Pacific Ocean, and the South American countries of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, and Chile. Being situated in such a manner, Argentina is exposed to many different cultural influences from all directions, including countries all the way across the Pacific. Spain took it upon themselves to permanently settle in the country in the late 1500s, and remained there until Buenos Aires formally emancipated themselves in 1853. One of the most remarkable differences between Argentine Cuisine and exotic cuisines from around the world is the heavy influence that the cuisine of the Italian and Spanish cultures had on it. Startlingly enough, due to the influence of the …

Food in Italy: Italian cooking and dining from your villa or apartment

If you’ve rented a villa or apartment in Italy, no doubt you’ll be trying to sample all the foods of Italy you can– dining out and eating in. Here’s a quick and easy guide for getting food in Italy, whether you’re ordering your first Italian meal at that sumptuous restaurant down the street or buying produce at the local market to create your own authentic Italian food . Shopping for Italian Food One of the great delights of renting an Italian villa or apartment is shopping for produce at an outdoor market. Virtually all towns in Italy have an outdoor market, usually once a week (ask around to find out which day). But regardless of whether you’re at a market, …

Aussie Chef Shares Culinary Secrets With Americans

What if a famous Australian chef came to your home and offered to make dinner? That’s the premise of a new television cooking show-but with a twist. Chef Curtis Stone is making his debut on American television, ambushing unsuspecting shoppers with an offer they simply can’t refuse. Each episode in the series called “Take Home Chef,” shown Fridays at 8:00 p.m. on TLC, begins with a covert Stone racing through a grocery store as he searches for the perfect culinary partner. Once he’s found one he turns on the charm, offering to accompany the shopper home and prepare a gourmet meal using the items in his or her shopping cart-plus a few savory extras. Once participants seem willing to go …

A Brief History of Pizza: The Dish that Conquered the World

Pizza, the way we know it today, is a derivation from focaccia (from the Latin word for fire), flat bread that has been prepared since antiquity in different forms and garnished with herbs, olives, fat, raisin, honey, and nuts. The word pizza in Italian identifies any type of flat bread or pie—fried or baked. Although you’d find many types of pitas or pizzas around the Mediterranean, it is in Naples that pizza in the form we know it today first emerged, after the tomato appeared on the table in the 1700s. Naples has many records of pizza since around the year 1000; the first mentions call these flat breads laganae, and later they are referred to as picea. In those …

Alfredo, and who on earth was he?

If you ask for Pasta Alfredo in a restaurant in Italy all you get from your waiter is a stare. Why is one of the most famous “Italian sauces” for pasta unknown in its country of origin? The answer is simple: because in Italy Pasta Alfredo doesn’t exist. Yes, Italians make a dish of pasta, fettuccine dressed with nothing else than good aged parmigiano cheese and a lot of butter, but is such a simple preparation that Italians don’t even consider it a “recipe”. Waverly Root in his famous book “The Food of Italy” (New York, 1971) wrote: “FETTUCCINE AL BURRO is associated in every tourist’s mind with Rome, possibly because the original Alfredo succeeded in making its serving a …