Italy have given us some of the finest food and wine in the world and has been influencing the way people cook and eat for many centuries. Italian cuisine is known for its simplicity in ingredients, which results in incredible flavour and taste, and is also noted for its diversity based on region. These regions have given us a wide range of staple ingredients and foods that are now beloved around the world and we’re exploring and celebrating some of our favourites:
Olive Oil – This staple of Mediterranean cuisine is produced by pressing whole olives and is widely used in salad dressings and as a cooking oil. In Italy, it is produced on a large scale in Florence and Tuscany, however the largest production happens in Apulia and Calabria. Olive oil is a core component of Italian cuisine, but has also become popular for its alternative uses like as a home skincare remedy and a base for homemade soaps.
Balsamic Vinegar – Balsamic vinegar is an Italian vinegar that has been produced since the Middle Ages in both the Modena and Emilia Romagna regions of the country. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is an inexpensive imitation of traditional balsamic vinegar and is the version that is commonly used in salad dressings and cooking. Traditional balsamic vinegar however is created from pressed Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes, with the resulting syrup being aged for a minimum of 12 years in wooden casks.
Parmesan Cheese – Also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, Parmesan cheese is a hard cheese that is very popular in Italian cuisine and named after the areas in which it is produced – Parma and Reggio Emilia. It is also produced in other places such as Bologna and Modena and is made primarily from unpasteurized cow’s milk. Parmesan cheese is incorporated into Italian cooking in a variety of ways, some of the most common being grated on top of pasta and stirred into risottos.
Pesto – This famous sauce comes from Genoa, Italy and is most commonly made from a combination of basil, crushed garlic, salt, European pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and pecorino sardo which has all been blended together with olive oil. Pesto is often enjoyed on top of pasta and is also used in some types of minestrone.
Get a taste for some of the most innovative and delicious Italian cuisine that Niagara Falls has to offer by reserving a table at the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra today. It’s an unforgettable Fallsview dining experience that’s unlike anywhere else.