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Culture in the kitchen: Adding authentic Italy to your cooking

Overview

Published: 06/25/2015

by Marcus Johnson

But food and drink is only part of the Italian culinary experience. If you're going to do it right, learning a few terms will make it feel extra authentic. After serving beverages, Cin Cin, meaning “cheers” is the appropriate term, and for food Buon Appetito is commonly used to begin the meal. Check out www.italianmade.com for more information and tips.

There's no reason why you can't enjoy authentic Italian cuisine at home. If you have always dreamed of building an Italian pantry to rival those of popular television chefs, you can make it a reality. Here is some help information for Canadians about using real Italian foods and how to bring a little bit of Italy into your home:

Drinks: Italian wine is a must. Look out for selections with the certifications listed. These are DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). If you're looking for something non-alcoholic, an authentic Italian soda is a refreshing and light option and, of course, you can't forget the espresso.

Starters: There are so many options to choose from, but cured meats, like prosciutto or speck, and cheeses are popular crowd-pleasers. Make sure you check the country of origin before purchasing then serve it alongside a crusty loaf of Italian bread and some fresh olives and you're set.

Mains: If it's pasta, you'll want a quality “Made in Italy” dried pasta, available in different shapes and sizes to create a variety of dishes. Match your pasta to its topping with these tips:Pappardelle is perfect for a rustic ragù of wild boar, Pici works well with a simple tomato and garlic sauce and Tortelli is well-suited for stuffed pasta. Of course, you also can't compromise on the tomato sauce which is a staple of classic Italian cooking, so look for canned DOP San Marzano tomatoes to make your own pasta sauce vs. a pre-made jar.

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