It is very common for American cuisine to blend itself with the locale it is trying to present itself as. Chinese-American food is very different from actual Chinese food; Afro-American food is also very different. In the same way, Italian food is no different in this respect. There are always a large numbers of foods that are not actually eaten in their host country that Americans would assume, through no fault of their own, actually are eaten there. In fact, it makes sense to think that because of the way it is always portrayed in films and the media. We will be going over some of the reasons for the variation, and covering what some of those dishes are in the next article.
Before we dive in, there are several things one should keep in mind. Firstly, there are many dishes that we eat here in America that actually ARE eaten in Italy. But the difference is just because that dish is prepared here as well as there, does not mean it uses the same recipe. For example, many recipes call for the milk or cheese of goats or sheep, different fish and meat that may be unavailable easily in America, and in general anything that would require being imported is often substituted for something else because of the fact that it adds on such high transportation costs.
As well, Italian food has become prolific in every corner of the world, in some form or another. What this means is that there are more variants than just authentic Italian and Italian-American food. There are a lot of countries that have a huge population of Italian immigrants, many of them with family still living there or family that left less than 3 generations ago.
Lastly, just like any country that isn’t extremely small or overly homogenous, Italy has a huge amount of difference in cuisine with their own country. A part of this is the fact that they have quite a wide variety in the biomes within their environment. The country being on a peninsula means many states have direct access to the sea, giving them a huge new base from which to select ingredients, compared with the regions in the mountains, those within the interior filled with open plains containing fertile farming land, dry regions that receive little rainfalls in their deserts, and many more. Italy is a huge country, compared with the size of most countries. So it is difficult to make broad statements about what is NEVER served, but there are quite a few dishes that are very uncommon compared to the amount it is seen in other countries.
In our next segment, we will be outlining exactly the differences between the dishes that are offered in Italy and those offered elsewhere under the banner on Italian food.