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The History Of Italian Cuisine History Essay

2191 words (9 pages) Essay in History

5/12/16 History Reference this

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The ingredients and dishes vary from region to region. There are significant regional dishes that have become both national and regional. Cheese and wine are also form a major part of the cuisine, serving different purpose both regionally and nationally. Coffee, and more specifically espresso, has become important to the cultural cuisine of Italy. The famous italian dessert Tiramisu is a coffee flavoured dessert.

Italian cuisine has evolved extensively over the centuries. This is a very astonoshing fact that the country called “Italy” today was not officially formed until the 19th century, thus the Italian cuisine can claim its roots going back to 4th century BC. Italian cuisine is a result of various influences throughout the centuries, which include- neighbor regions, conquerors, high-profile chefs, and political upheavals led to the formation of, a concrete cuisine today known as one of the premiere cuisines in the world called the Italian cuisine.

The Romans of the early ages did not appreciate high quality ingredients. Thus they employed the best bakers from Greek to produce their breads, imported pecorini from Sicily as the Sicilians were considered as the best cheese makers. They were also known as being excellent rearer of goats for butchering and gardening of artichokes and leeks.

In the medieval ages the Muslims invaded Sicily during the 9th century, what is known today as Northern Europe was attacked by Viking raiders. Sicily had already attained a lot of the culinary traditions from the culinary traditions of Rome and Athens, the highly civilized culture combined with the Sicilian cuisine to bring the first real Italian cuisine. The Arabs introduced spinach,almonds and rice.

The Romans were considered to be the masters of preservation techniques which were a necessity as refrigeration had not been invented. The two types of preservation were either chemical or physical. Meats and fish would be smoked, dried or kept on ice.Brine and salt were used to preserve items like pickles,herring and to cure pork meat. Root vegetables were also preserved in brine after they had been parboiled. Other items which were used to preserve foods included oil and vinegar for immersing animal proteins in their own congealed, rendered fat. Liquor, honey and sugar were used for the preservation of fruits.

The northern regions of Italy started to show a mix of German and Roman culture while the southern portion reflected the influences of Arab culture as the Arabs controlled much of the Mediterranean trade routes, as such much of the Mediterranean cuisine has been as a result of Arab trade.

During the 16th century the macaroni was cooked in a capon stock which was flavoured with saffron, showing the Arab influence on the Italian cuisine.

The early modern era of Italian Cuisine was affected by the courts of Florence, Rome, Venice and Ferrara which were integral factors which led to the creation of the fine cooking in Italy.

Italian cuisine took a great diversification in the modern age, what was known as Italy today was governed by France, Spain and Austria during the 18th century. In the beginning of the 18th century that the culinary books of Italy began to show the real regioanalism of Italian cuisine in order for Italian chefs to better show the pride of their regions instead of the high cuisine of France, Spain and Austria . As the century progressed the cuisine increased in size, popularity and frequency,

During 18th century peasants lived on a diet which consisted of heavy foods. Taken more as a step toward the high cuisine of the Italy which was more refined and delicate, this diet gave the peasants their own identity.Many peasants had to survive by eating rotten foods and moldy breads to survive.


Each region of Italy has their own proud specialties, not primarily at regional level only, but even at provincial level. These regional differences come from the influence of a bordering country (such as France or Austria), close proximity to the sea or mountains. Italian cuisine is not only highly regional, but is also distinguished by being very seasonal with high priority placed on the use of fresh, season.


Rice is a popular ingredient in often used in soups as well as risotto. Cheese is a popular course with rabiola or gorgonzala being particularly important (the vast plains of central and southern Lombardy allowing for intensive cattle-raising).

Butter is a popular ingredient over oil, and cream in generous amounts



“APPERTIF” usually enjoyed as an appetizer before a large meal. Popular drinks include Campari, Cinzano and Vermouth are served to stimulate the appetite.


Literally means “before (the) meal”, hot or cold appetizers are served before the pasta dish. In italy patsa is considered to be the main dish an antipasto as the name suggest means before the pasta dish.


It is the “first course”, which usually consists of a lot of hot dish like pasta, risotto,gnocchi, polenta and soup.


The “second course”, consist of the main dish, which usually comprises of fish or meat. Traditionally veal, pork and chicken are the most commonly used meat, at least in the North, though beef has become more popular now. Games are very popular, particularly in Tuscany.


It is a “side dish”, whixh basically assist the main dish, it may consist of a salad or cooked vegetables. A traditional menu features salad along with the main course. Mashed potatoes, grilled eggplant and tomatoes are also served.

Formaggio e frutta

These course comprise of cheese and fruits.


It refers to dessert, where delicacies such as cakes and cookies are served.


It is the second last course where a cup of a hot black coffee or espresso coffee is served.


Its the last course where digestives are served for smooth digestion of food, the italians serve liquors/liqueurs such as grappa, amarro and limenello. These course if sometimes referred to as ammazzcaffe literally meaning(“coffee killer)


The italians are said to be the masters of delicacies and producing dishes with simplicity and great nutritional value and natural taste of the ingredient is maintain at all the times. They are said the founders of cheese, and all their delicacies uses cheese somehow or the other.

Italians are said to be very health conscious and believe in natural herbal food, thus we found a great dominance of medicinal herbs such as rosemary, thyme, celery etc used prominently in almost all their dish. Another characteristic feature of these cuisine is the use of olive oil which is very safe for the health and olive is found in abundance over here thus we find extensive use of olive oil in Italian cuisne.

Italian cuisine impact on the world.

Italian cuisine is the birthplace of various delicacies which are now famous and in great demand all over the world. The famous PIZZA which people all over the ion which comes world enjoy originated first in Italy where people just love to play with dough and master various types of bread preparation. Foccacia the famous Italian bread along with pita bread is in great demand by people all over Another gift to the world cookery by Italy is what we all know as PASTA today,

Almost every house in Italy produces its own pasta and has secret recipes for it, each style and ingredients used differ from other, the dishes made from durham wheat is famous and has affected the diet of people all over the world.

Rissotto is another preparation which comes to our mind when we talk of Italian cuisine, the famous arborio rice which is high in starch content is a staple diet of Italians and enjoyed by people all over the world.

The culinary history of Italy is incomplete until we talk about cheese, Italians are produced over here.

Thus Italian cuisine which has originated over the centuries has now constituted to form an integral part of world cuisine with the fact that its food habits and ingredients are accepted by people all over the world be it cheese, wine, pasta or pizza.


The country of Spain is surrounded by sea contributes nicely to the world and consists of a variety of dishes which differ according to, culture and climate. It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the seas and ocean that surround the country, the extensive history of Spain with many cultural influences has led to a unique cuisine with literally thousands of recipes and flavors.

There are two major diets in the Spanish peninsula. One was found in the northwest part of the peninsula, where more animal fats that correspond to the villages in the north are used extensively. The other could be considered the successor of the Mediterranean diet and was found in the Iberian part of the peninsula.

Foods found in historical monuments and sites include diverse types of legumes,onions and garlic.The olive which was introduced by the Spanish has become an integral part of Spanish cuisine. The other major components of a Spanish meal are tomatoes, potatoes and peppers all of which were introduced by the Americans after the Spanish colonialization.

In the early era of Spanish cuisine , cabbages were well known and appreciated, and considered a panacea for various aliments. Other popular vegetables of that time were “thistle” such as artichokes and onions.

In Spain the hams of Pomeipolis had great taste and a quality and a class that suits the rich aristocrats. The export of pork products served the basis of a strong local economy.

In certain areas of spain lentils were consumed, because of the fact that they formed a staple food for the army and because they were easy to preserve and transport. The famous Fava Beans were known from antiquity and were considered sacred by the Spanish.

Mushrooms were common and popular in the northern part of the country.

Spain being a mediterranean country is very rich in citrus fruits and the Spanish people have mastered the science of grafting. Viticulture which already was practiced by the Romans was modifies and used in a better way by the Spanish, but it were the Greeks who extended the Vine across theMediterranean countries.

During the second era the wealthy people used to dine while lying on a couch (a custom acquired from the Greeks) and using their hands, because fork were not used for eating. Tableclothes were introduced in the 1st century. Knives were known, but not particularly needed at table because the dishes were cut up by slaves into bit slice pieces.

The Spanish mode of flavoring and cooking in past is quite distinct from what is found in modern times.


Arroz ala Cubana

Arroz con Leche(rice pudding)

Calameres(Fried squid)

Cocido(a chickpea and meat stew of sorts)

Chorizo(spicy sausage)

Chuletillas(grilled chops of milk fed lamb)

Gazpacillaho(cold bread and tomato soup)

Fabada Asturiana(bean stew)

Jamon Serrano(cured ham)

Paella(saffron rice)

Everyone doesnt agrees with the fact that there is one common definition for Spanish cuisine. Some typically assume that Spanish dishes (paella, serrano ham, etc) are consumed outside of Spain, while the regions which comprising of the Basque Country share dishes which are non-existent. It is quiet obvious that Spanish cuisine is the food eaten in Spain, but there are equally well-defined Basque and Catalan cuisines which offer significant differences with the cuisine of Spain.


Spanish food is in great demand by people all over the world, their food habits with use of olive oil, citrus fruits has fascinated people all over the world, various varieties of arroz produced over here has affected the diet of people all over the world. The famous Gazpacho soup a cold soup is famous all over the world, spain is considered as the best producers of sausages, hams and salamis, which have affected cuisines all over the world. The famous hot dog which people all over enjoy is a result of the sausages produced in spain, moreover spain gift to the world are wines being a Mediterranean county citrus fruits grow extensively and various varieties of grapes are found producing the best wines, thus Spanish cuisine uses loads of wine and citrus fruits and vegetables.

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