When Italians immigrated to America during the late 1800s and early 1900s, they brought scrumptious delights from the cucina Italiana. Italian Food Day, observed annually on February 13, celebrates the culinary culture that diners have grown to savor.
Head out to the local pork store, it’s a mecca of cold cuts, sausages, cheeses, pastas and other Italian specialties. You’ll experience instant aromatherapy as the scents of prosciutto, soppressata and capicola kiss your nostrils.
Which region will you highlight for your celebratory feast?
Modena contributes balsamic vinegar, Parma brings us prosciutto, and the central Italian region is the birth place of Parmigiano-Reggiano, Bolognese sauce, mortadella and stuffed pastas. Southern Italy’s contributions include cannoli, olive oil, caponata, mozzarella, ricotta, San Marzano tomatoes, pizza, focaccia and gelato.
Blankets of tomato sauce identify pasta dishes from southern Italy. Pastas dressed in creamy sauces are characteristic of Northern Italian cuisine. Other specialties include risotto, minestrone, white truffles and porcini mushrooms. Wine is the beverage of choice throughout the country.
Begin your Italian Food Day feast with a platter of cheeses, meats, olives and bread. Then move on to your main entrée, concluding with espresso, tiramisu and gelato. Channel your nonna, prepare recipes handed down through generations. The Italian culture is all about savoring wonderful foods, loving family and enjoying life.
That’s amore! Buon appetito!