Secrets of the Italian Pantry Unveiled: 10 Essential Ingredients Every Italian Swears By
A culture which prides itself on the simplicity of its cuisine, there are some must-have staples that Italian households just cannot be without!
1. PASS THE PASTA!
What would a respectable Italian pantry be without pasta, its this nation’s #1 staple! According to statistics, Italians are the top consumers per capita of pasta in the world. The average Italian will consume over 23 kg of pasta per year! Made of flour, durum wheat semolina, water and sometimes other cereals and eggs.
2. TOMATOES: NO MATTER HOW YOU SAY IT, DON’T CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF!
Come late summer when tomatoes are especially ripe, Italians will be busy as bees making and bottling their flavourful homemade Passata. Widely used as a base for many pasta sauces, soups, and other dishes, this fresh tomato purée is bottled into a preserve and stored on pantry shelves to utilise (and last) throughout the year.
3. BEANS LENTILS AND LEGUMES, OH MY!
Despite traditional dishes vary from region to region, chances are all Italian pantries will be full of beans (fagioli) and legumes such as fava, lentils, cannellini, barlotti and chickpeas. Pasta e fagioli and zuppa (soup) di fagioli are traditional Italian favourites containing beans and are eaten throughout Italy. They are guaranteed warm, belly-filling dishes especially during the colder months of the year.
4. SAY CHEESE!
Those marvellous Italian cheeses such as Pecorino, Parmigiano or Grana Padano can be found in every Italian household. They are supreme pasta toppers and are used in many recipes from pesto, to meatballs, to stuffed peppers and artichokes, but many Italians say “NOT WITH FISH!” and will baulk at the sight of anyone topping a seafood dish with any of the above! Mozzarella, burrata and ricotta make a creamy addition to many Italian dishes like cannelloni, ravioli or can be enjoyed by themselves topped with a drizzle of olive oil and bits of basil.
5. WINE? DON’T WHINE, THERE’S ALWAYS PLENTY!
It goes without saying you’ll never find an Italian household without wine. Whether it be for cooking, pairing it with a meal, or simply enjoying a bottle with friends. Rest assured, Italians will always have it covered. Here in Abruzzo you can find excellent wines to sample starring the native red Montepulciano and white Trebbiano, plus other popular Abruzzese varieties like Passerina, Pecorino, Montonico and Cococciola.
6. VINEGAR FOR VIGOR!
Standard red and white wine vinegars and their posh cousin concentrated ‘balsamic’ vinegar from Modena, are important flavourful staples to accompany certain foods and you’ll always find it on hand in an Italian’s kitchen. Not only is it great for preserves, mixed in or drizzled on salads and both red and white vinegars are known for various health boosting properties like powerful antioxidants, lowering blood pressure, aiding in digestion and supporting weight loss!
7. SPICES AND HERBS? THEY’RE NO WASTE OF THYME!
If you don’t see them growing in a nearby garden, a windowsill or terrace, chances are you’ll find them stored and dried in the Italian pantry. Italians keep plenty on hand of green staples such as basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary and sage. To add a little spice to dishes you’ll certainly find dried ‘peperoncini’ or peperoncini swimming in olive oil which makes a great condiment!
8. OH OLIVE OIL!
What’s not to love? It’s the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet! It’s flavourful, aromatic, and aside from its multitude of uses in food and being a top choice, extra-virgin olive oil or ‘EVO’ for short, can offer superb health benefits as it is high in healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and may prevent heart disease and stroke, strengthens your immune system, is great for liver health and can lower blood pressure! Italians certainly know best!
Discover the fascinating world of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Italy and learn 25 important things you need to know about this golden elixir. With a history spanning 4,000 years, Italy has a strong bond with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, renowned for its quality and limited production. In this blog post, you’ll delve into the intricacies of Extra Virgin Olive Oil production, gain insight into how to choose wisely when purchasing your next bottle, and uncover the key characteristics that distinguish this liquid gold from other oils. Whether you’re a connoisseur or a novice, this informative article will provide you with a better understanding of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and leave you eager to savor its nuances. Click here to read the full blog post and enhance your appreciation for this timeless culinary treasure.
As if the delicious food wasn’t enough, Italian households also like to keep a little something-something on hand to help with digestion. Who needs Tums when you have limoncello? Italy is famous for its boozy beverages that make you forget how much pasta you just ate. Cheers to ending every meal with a tipsy twist! Italian liquors and digestives are like the wingmen of your digestive system, helping it to get lucky and have a good time after a meal. It’s like they’re saying, “Hey stomach, don’t worry about a thing, we got you covered!”
If life gives you lemons, make Limoncello! This Italian liquor is basically lemon zest’s boozy alter ego, sweetened up with sugar syrup. It’s like lemonade, but for adults. This bad boy hails all the way from the sunny south of Italy and packs a punch with its bright yellow hue and zesty citrus taste. If you want to feel fancy and refreshed, Limoncello is the way to go. It’s like a spa day for your taste buds.
Ah, the famous Italian stomach soother – Amaro! It’s like a hug in a glass, but with herbs. Perfect for when you’ve eaten so much pasta that you feel like you might explode. So basically, Amaro is like a boozy salad dressing. It’s got a bunch of different herbs and spices mixed in, and it’s bitter and sweet at the same time. It’s like a fancy way to get drunk and pretend you’re being healthy. Ah, Italy! The land of delicious food and fancy drinks. Every region has its own special herbal elixir that’s supposed to help with digestion. You can drink it straight up or mix it into a fancy cocktail. Bellissimo!
In Italian households, you might stumble upon a secret stash of grappa, a magical elixir made from the scraps of winemaking. It’s like the Cinderella story, but for grapes! Grappa is like a superhero in a glass – clear, strong, and ready to save the day with its grape flavor and warming powers. It’s like a fancy potion that you have to sip slowly from a tiny glass to unlock its magical flavors.
Ah, have you heard of the elusive Ratafia? It’s like the Italian cousin of a unicorn – rare and mysterious, but oh so delightful. This little gem hails from the Abruzzo region and is sure to make your taste buds dance the tarantella. This fancy booze has been around longer than your great-great-grandma and has more traditions than a royal wedding. It’s basically a cultural gem, so don’t spill it! Ratafia, the drink that will transport you to the beautiful region of Abruzzo! Made with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine and wild cherries, it’s like taking a sip of the Italian countryside. Unleash the secrets of this magical elixir by delving into the depths of this blog post.
You know what they say about Italian liquors and digestives – they’re not just for drinking alone in your pajamas, they’re a crucial part of Italian culture and hospitality! Ah, the Italians truly know how to live the good life! They’ve got a knack for whipping up drinks that are not only delicious, but also serve a purpose. Cheers to that! When you’re chowing down on all the pizza and pasta in Italy, don’t forget to get a little tipsy on their fancy schmancy liquors and digestives. It’s like adding a little “Mamma Mia!” to your meal.
After WWII, throughout southern Europe, the iconic stove-top Italian moka pot invented by Antonio Bialetti and Luigi Di Ponti inn 1933 became the standard way of domestically making coffee. Talk about ‘coffee culture!’ Today Italy’s iconic moka has found its way into European pantries and is the most commonly used on the continent! This stove-top classic brews coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee. Therefore, it’s generally thicker than coffee brewed by other coffee makers and the flavour is more concentrated. It also has more caffeine per unit volume than other coffee beverages, but because of its smaller serving size as opposed to drip ‘Americano’ coffees, the caffeine content of a single serving of espresso is generally lower than that of a tall mug of Americano. A typical 28 gram serving of espresso, on average will contain 64.5 milligrams of caffeine, whereas a typical tall mug of drip Americano usually contains 150 – 200 mg. You can be sure when visiting hospitable Italian friends or relatives in Italy, there will always be a moka pot ready to go on the stove top and following friendly greetings you’ll be offered a cup!
Are you a passionate foodie and curious traveller? You must be if you just read this blog post on ‘The Italian Pantry Must-Have Staples!’ So imagine embarking on an exciting one-of-a-kind tour experience that brings to life the very ingredients and traditions of these musings…
A Culinary Adventure! Experience ‘The Italian Pantry Staples’ firsthand, with us!
Diving into the heart of Italian cuisine, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the origins and production processes of these quintessential Italian staples! Picture yourself into a local’s home experiencing first hand the making of traditional pasta. Or how about a trip to a local vineyard, where you can learn about the wine-making process, make wine during the harvest and sample Abruzzo’s most secret grape varieties. You also have the option to explore olive groves and olive oil mills, where you can discover extra-virgin olive oil production! And let’s not forget about the cheese lovers! A visit to a cheese-making facility with us will allow you not just to sample some of Italy’s finest cheeses such as Parmigiano and Pecorino Romano but to also make it with your hands.
If you’re an adventurous food and wine-loving soul ready to explore the culinary treasures of Italy, I invite you to join us and immerse yourself in the authentic Italian culture and gastronomy of Abruzzo! It’s a chance to taste, touch, and experience the very essence of Italy.
Experience a mouth-watering Italian adventure all your own that will make memories to last a lifetime! Get in touch to learn more and embark on the ultimate Italian food and cultural experience!
Don’t just read about it—live it!