Northern versus southern Italian cuisine – The battle of tastes is sure to go the full 15 rounds, or at least seven courses

Kareem Marashi Italian food always ranks at the top of every world-class diner’s list. But in a bout between Northern, where Negroni Prosciutto manufacturing is located (Emilia-Romagna) versus Southern Italian cooking, the battle of tastes is sure to go the full fifteen rounds, or at least seven courses.

While diners simply decide on “Italian” for the evening’s meal, there are not so subtle differences that distinguish Northern from Southern Italian cuisine. Italian food can even be further classified into regional fare which is unique enough to warrant a distinction.

In fact, Italy wasn’t even unified as a nation until 1861. In the time leading up to that, Italy’s mountainous valleys and lack of adequate communication between regions isolated communities and promoted cultural heterogeneity. Since the fall of Rome, the land now known as Italy, has also been subject to foreign invaders periodically throughout history falling under Spanish, Austrian, French and even Arab powers. Thus, these influences have promoted culinary differences between regions and to this day, those differences are at the same time celebrated and coveted by their respective residents.

Presently, climatic conditions and economic disparity are the biggest factors separating the North from the South. As a result, foods of the areas reflect this variance. Specifically, Northern Italy enjoys rich fertile land and a sizable, affluent population producing such things as homemade pastas, exotic seafood, and specialty sausages. Italy is Europe’s biggest producer of rice which is often served with fish and seasoned with fragrant herbs such as variety of basils, oregano, rosemary, sage, parsley and marjoram. The dishes are often garnished with capers and lemon and are usually light and airy to the palette. Rich foods are also popular, specifically in the northern region of Emilia-Romagna. Butter is favored over oil for use in cooking. Pork sausages, cheeses, and hearty pasta dishes are all local favorites.

Just a little further south is the Tuscany region where fresh fruit and vegetables are grown locally and sold in open-air markets. The atmosphere breeds a light cuisine with dishes just slightly flavored with olive oil and garlic and boasting vine ripened tomatoes, just-picked olives and the most colorful of beans. “Gelaterias” and “pasticcerias” also abound in this region which vaunt a refreshing array of Italian Ice Cream or “”gelato”” and Italian pastries.

Continue south towards Rome and the terrain becomes sparser and arid which is in stark contrast to the gastronomical delights inherent to the region. Lamb and pork accompany artichokes so tender there isn’t a need to scrape them from the leaves and desserts plentiful with walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts and almonds.

The southern peninsula of Italy and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia are covered in olive tree groves. Olive oil is mass-produced and used as a base in cooking. Breads are smothered with seasoned olive paste made from native Gaeta, Ligurian, and Sicilian-style olives. Each has its own exceptional taste and unique color. The climate also provides for an abundance of citrus fruits which are readily used in sauces and to flavor meats. In the south, parmesan cheese is replaced with pecorino cheese which is made from sheep’s milk and is tangier, sharper in taste and saltier than parmesan.

While the food greatly varies, not only between northern and southern Italy, but also between regions, there is still one underlying commonality throughout all of Italy…Italians treasure their heritage and their cuisine. It is evident in the recipes, variety, and atmosphere that go along with eating. Enjoy the differences!

Negroni’s Authentico Italiano selection includes:
Prosciutto Arrosto
– a traditional Italian roasted ham made in Italy using only selected pork shanks and rich blend of garlic, rosemary and fine Mediterranean herbs.

Prosciutto Cotto – a traditional Italian cooked ham made in Italy using selected pork shanks and natural flavorings and is lighter in color and sweeter in flavor than Prosciutto Arrosto.

Negroni’s Authentico Italiano selection includes:
Prosciutto Arrosto
– a traditional Italian roasted ham made in Italy using only selected pork shanks and rich blend of garlic, rosemary and fine Mediterranean herbs.

Prosciutto Cotto – a traditional Italian cooked ham made in Italy using selected pork shanks and natural flavorings and is lighter in color and sweeter in flavor than Prosciutto Arrosto.

Mortadella
– a traditional Italian cooked specialty made in Italy based on a 500 year old recipe from the province of Emilia Romagna.

Prosciutto di Parma – the most renowned dry-cured Italian ham, made with the best Italian pork legs, packed in a strictly defined region around Parma, Italy. Parma is a beautiful Italian city known for its monuments, castles, opera and haute cuisine!

For more information about Negroni products please contact:

Negroni Corporation USA
13 Fairfield Ave. Suite 105
Little Falls, NJ 07424
usa.negroni@negroni.com
973.256.0033 Tel
973.256.1108 Fax

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Prosciutto di Parma

Super premium dry-cured ham

Prosciutto

Premium dry-cured ham

Prosciutto Arrosto

Roasted ham

Prosciutto Cotto

Cooked ham

Mortadella

Traditional Italian cooked specialty

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