Salt & Wind Travel

Table Of Contents

What Is Italian Food
What Are The Types Of Italian Food
Italian Food History
Italian Ingredients
Italian Seasonal Ingredients
Italian Pantry Essentials
What Are The Best Italian Dishes?
Recipes For Italian Food
Italian Dinner Recipes
Italian Cookbooks


Italian food is high on our list of desert island food. The fresh ingredients, its inherent healthiness, and the variety of recipes that seem endless have us hooked. And seeing as we’re talking about a country that brought us Cacio E Pepe pasta, Insalata Caprese Salad, and gelato, well, we’re pretty sure you’re on board with us.  

But, as a company with a big focus on food and Italy, we get a lot of questions on the matter so we’re doing our best to answer them for you here! From what “Italian food” is to what to eat when you travel to Italy, we’ve got you covered. 

What Is Italian Food?

The long and short of it, is as such: when it comes to Italian food: there is no “one” Italian food but rather tens of regional styles that come together to be called “Italian.” That’s partly because Italy wasn’t a country until 1861 (often more recent than most people think)! Prior to that the peninsula was divided on pretty much all levels — geographically, politically, ideologically — and even in terms of food. 

So, What Is The History Of Italian Food?

The importance and history of on the Italian peninsula is evident as far back as Roman times, when lavish banquets happened on the regular.

Then What Are The Different Types Of Italian Food?

If you travel to Italy you’ll notice that Northern and Southern Italy are pretty different places. So different in so many ways (culturally, linguistically, historically, geographically, culinarily) that some say they might as well be two different countries.

Northern Italy has vibes that are more “continental” or classically European in everything from the architecture to the way of doing business not to mention that the weather is colder, the land is more rugged, and it is the country’s industrial center. Meanwhile, Southern Italy (from roughly Rome on south) is warmer, has more beaches, is more traditionally agriculturally based, and less populated. 

That divide in the country can even be seen in the food traditions. Yes, every region of Italy has food traditions that it’s known for but there is a distinct difference between the food in the north and south of Italy.

In step with its colder climate and the neighboring countries of France and Switzerland, Northern Italy uses more dairy and heavier meats in its cooking. Also, they don’t just eat pasta but also cook grain dishes like risotto and polenta. Meanwhile, Southern Italy is all about food that’s simple, fresh and seasonal and uses olive oil, tomatoes, and more seafood. 

Essential Italian Food Terms

As you get to talking about Italian food, you’ll (obviously) come across a lot of Italian words. Some — bolognese, gelato, gnocchi — are probably already familiar terms while others — coretto, — may not be. REad through all the local foods to eat when you travel to Italy or check out our friend Marisa’s list of 100 Essential Italian Food Terms you should know. 

Seasonal Italian Ingredients

If you’re planning to cook Italian food, it’s helpful to know what’s in season when and the most basic ingredients you should have in your pantry. 

Italian Pantry Ingredients

How To Buy Great Olive Oil (And Treat It Right!)

What Are The Best Italian Foods?

Classic Italian Food Recipes 

Italian Party Ideas

Classic Italian Dinner Recipes

The Italian Drinks

Italian Wine

As wine is grown in all 20 regions across Italy, there is a lot of territory to cover when it comes to discussing Italian wine. Add to it that there are more thant 300 native grapes on the peninsula and a rather confusing label

Italian Cocktails
Toast Italy With Our Favorite Italian Aperitivo Cocktails 

 Want to eat your way through Italy? Join our next small group trip to Italy?


The Best Italian Cookbooks


For classic Italian food, you’ll want to check out __. If you want to get regional, ___. If you’re all about wine, ___ while cocktail lovers will want to opt for ___. 


Celery Salad with Parmigiano-Reggiano and Walnuts

{Salsa Verde Alla Piemontese} Italian Herb Sauce

{Insalata Caprese} Classic Caprese Salad

{Fiori Di Zucca Fritti} Classic Italian Fried Zucchini Flowers

Classic Negroni Sbagliato Cocktail

{Supplì al telefono} Mozzarella Tomato Basil Risotto Balls

{Mandilli di Seta} Handkerchief Pasta with Creamy Pesto

Classic Aperol Spritz Cocktail

Manners, Per Piacere! Dining Etiquette When Eating In Italy

Must Know Tips For Eating In Italy

These Authentic Italian Desserts Are Reason Enough to Travel to Italy

Friends Who Fete: How To Host A Polenta Party

{Bicerin} Layered Mocha Coffee

Cook These Classic Italian Recipes When Dreaming Of Italy

How To Make Tuscan Ribollita Soup


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