When we think about Italy, the common image that come out in our mind is “Italian food” with a tasty and attractive evocation of a pizza or a tomato pasta with basil on top.
Certainly, pizza and pasta are the must-try, but it’s important to understand that the Italian cuisine is made up by a huge variety of typical recipes. Most of them are the result of years of heritage and tradition, especially regional tradition linked to the differences of “territorial” products.
Another key point in order to understand the real and authentic Italian cookery art, is to focus on few important key basics on the real structure of Italian meal.
Aperitivo: a small dose of wine enjoyed before the meal, like Prosecco.
Antipasto (= starter or appetizer): it’s something to nibble on and the English equivalent is “before the meal”. It can include hot and cold appetizers like cheese, bread, bruschetta or dressed vegetables.
Primo (= main course): here we are with pasta! Pasta is a first course, or primo. Soup or rice are the other choices for the primo.
Secondo (= second course): chicken, meat, or fish are the usual choices, and portions are generally small.
Contorno (= side dish): vegetables usually accompanies the “secondo”.
Dolce (= dessert): A dolce ends a traditional Italian meal.
Caffè: A must after or with the dolce.
Digestivo (= “digestive”): liqueur like grappa, amaro or traditional limoncello.
So what are you waiting for? Your table is set and waiting…. Oh! And you will need at least one or two hours (or even longer for important occasions).