IL MANGIARE – THE ART OF EATING
WHILE NOT EVERY ITALIAN MAY BE BRILLIANT IN THE KITCHEN, EVERYONE IS AN AUTHORITY ON EATING.
Where else is the subject of dinner (past, present & future) discussed at the breakfast table? Where else are food terms used to refer to character traits and body parts?
In Italy, of course. That said, an essential thing to understand about Italian cuisine is that it really doesn’t exist. The cooking of Italy is distinguished by its regions, each with unique cultural influences, climates, and local ingredients.
The Italians recognise the distinctive differences in the cooking of Naples or Venice or Florence, which vary according to the fresh and flavourful seasonal produce available in these area, they usually tend to stick to the cuisine of their local area, still believing it is the best in the land. While not every Italian may be brilliant in the kitchen, everyone is an authority on eating.
In order to enjoy a full gastronomic life, the Italians are intimate with and eager to talk about the workings of their digestive systems, avoiding cold drafts on the stomach, and paying obsessive attention to the fegato, or liver.