Whether it is the awe-inspiring Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, set into an Oceanside cliff in Puglia Italy, or the meals eaten while touring wineries in the Tuscan countryside, there is something undeniably special about Italian cuisine. The world has fallen irrevocably in love with the food that Italy has graced the world with, and it really is not difficult to understand why. Not only is most Italian cooking ingrained in comforting, whole meals, but it is also about creating experiences with each meal there is to be had. In Italy, food is about family, friends, love, and culture, and those traits are always at the centre of every dish that comes out of this stunning country. Legendary famous chef, the late Anthony Bourdain, believed that cultures who put more value in their cuisine also place more importance on the systems that occur from the food being grown or raised, to the plate coming to the table once the preparations have been finished.
Bourdain was right on the money, and his belief aligns perfectly with what the Italian culture has to offer on the plate. Whether we are talking about Italian cuisine in historical aspect, or bringing Italian food into our own homes, using our own interpretations, it does not matter. The roots of why the world has fallen in love with Italian cuisine are very simple: it is the love. Italian food is all about creating moments out of meals. The food in Italy is about culture, family, friends, and memories. In Italy, food is more than sustenance, it is more than a quick bite to eat on the way to the next destination. In Italy, food is a way of life. From the produce to the cooking techniques and right to the table, Italian cuisine is the result of love, health, family, and culture. And that is just the way the Italians love to keep it.
The Italian people love what they make. Their pride in their dishes comes through in the final experience every time, and the dishes are always the result of effort, so much love, and fresh ingredients (even the cheap and simple ones…you know what they say, sometimes less is more). So often what happens when we try cuisines from different countries, is that we have perhaps already eaten the variation of the dish that we have in our home country. This is not necessarily an issue, but it does sometimes result in our experience with the variations of the cuisine clouding what the true experience is all about. This is true for so many cuisines, but Italian is not one of them. While it may taste different depending on where you go, the core of the experience in Italian cuisine lies in experiencing the food. And that experience is designed to create strong memories that people appreciate and love – even long after they are over.
Additionally, Italy is famous not just for its food, but for its beverages, including its coffee and its wine. The flavours that come from Italian food and beverages cannot – and have never been – recreated exactly anywhere else in the world. This is a cuisine that is centred around incredible flavours and wholesome dining experiences, and nowhere does it like Italy. The world has long been obsessed with Italian culture, and the heart of that culture lies in its food. Italians never serve up dishes that they are not proud of, and they thrive on creating positive experiences with their food. Meal time here is about engagement with family and friends, experiencing life for what it has to offer, and enjoying the moment for what it is.
The cuisine from anywhere in the world has something unique to bring to the table, but nowhere in the world does food quite like Italy. The pure love and the experience of Italian cuisine cannot be replicated anywhere else for one simple reason: the culture. Nowhere else in the world has the same relationship with Italian cuisine as Italy does, and no one else in the world has spent their lives appreciating, experiencing, loving food the way that Italians have. The world has fallen in love with Italian cuisine, and at the heart of all that love is a culture that has always had a flourishing, strong relationship with its food, its roots.
The Italian culture has much to offer, but its cuisine is perhaps the single greatest aspect of its entire culture. Food in Italy is culture, it is family, it is love. Whenever we eat Italian food, it is an experience – and that experience is not just down to the impeccable tastes of the food. Italian food is regarded as an experience because of the love that goes into every bite. Italian people never serve up a meal they are not proud of, and it is a core value that has served them – and the rest of us – well throughout the ages (and it is likely to serve us well forever more). Italy is famous for its stunning landscapes and historical architecture, but it is most renowned for its unique, beautiful cuisine. A culture built on love, a cuisine made to be experienced.