Most people have a very distinct picture in mind when talking about Italian restaurants but the truth is that there are many different options out there. Not all of these eateries are the same and if you want the full experience of what Italian cuisine has to offer then you definitely want to understand how each region has dramatically different traditional foods from one another. This is a surprise to many people but it can lead to some wonderful eating experiences!
When of the major things that Italian restaurants in the States are known for is their specialization with pasta. Spaghetti, lasagna, fettuccine, ravioli, cannoli, there are just so many different types of pasta out there and many different ways of preparing each.
Pasta lovers often are huge fans of Italian because of these options, but also because of the variety of sauces. Marinara, with meat or without, loaded with vegetables or basic, white sauce for chicken pasta dishes – there are just so many different options that are available. What’s your mood at the moment? What type of pasta really speaks to you?
These dishes go well with garlic bread and salad, which is why in some form or another these are going to offered in virtually any place that is advertising itself as Italian, however as with so many other things, the quality does vary based on the place and recipe.
While it’s not completely fair to say that Italian food is only pizza & pasta but in many chains in the U.S. that is the basic setup, sometimes with a couple of personal favorites of the owners to boost things a little bit more.
Americanized Vs. Authentic
Sit down restaurants can be an entirely different story as written about on blueleafgraphics.com. Many areas of Italy are known for local dishes that include fresh olives and olive oil, fresh fish, shrimp, and squid from the ocean, and have a fuller and richer variety of options than “just pizza or pasta.” It’s also worth noting that when done from scratch or when done properly, true Italian pasta and pizza both taste incredibly different from what most people are used to.
The flavors of individual noodles made from scratch, or toppings cooked just right so they still have individual flavors even as they blend, it’s amazing. The difference is not something to sneeze at: the flavors mix really well and give a new experience that many diners are not necessarily used to.
There are many amazing choices out there when it comes to Italian food, and each restaurant or restaurant chain is going to have their own take on this cuisine. Some will be heavily involved in the pizza and pasta, and the basic off shoots of those two dishes, while others will bring something different and unique to the table. There is such a variety when it comes to enjoying the full breadth of Italian cuisine, especially if you fit in Sicilian and Sardinian dishes along with the other traditional favorites from the mainland.