It is truly the best.

Italian food

If I could only pick one genre of food to eat for the rest of my life, out of all the ethnic foods across the entire globe, I think I could only eat Italian food on a daily basis and I would enjoy it tremendously and grow old and fattened up into my retirement years.

There’s just something about Italian food that makes you feel extremely comfortable, and full of course, but it’s more than that. It’s a taste that can not be matched and it’s the traditions that have been passed down for generations that allow the Italians to have by far the most delicious of all recipes known around the world.

Obviously everyone knows that Italian food is known for being very sensuous and tasty, and one of my favorite things to think about when I think of Italian food is the famous Al Pacino movie The Godfather. There are plenty of scenes in which Italian food is featured throughout the classic gangster film, but there is one scene, which is the turning point in which Michael Corleone (played by Al Pacino) guns down a mobster and a police captain at an Italian restaurant called Louis’ in the Bronx. He takes a gun out of the bathroom and shoots both of his victims to death, but before he does so he sits down and has a traditional Italian meal with the two men, and there’s one line that has stuck out to me for years: Try the veal. It’s the best in the city.

No matter where I go in terms of Italian restaurants I always have to ask about their veal, just to see if they say it’s the best in the city, and more often than not the waiter will respond with something along the lines of our veal is very good, it’s one of the best dishes in the city.

But that’s just what makes eating Italian food so fantastic, especially at a local restaurant. They are always a part of this great ambiance that makes you feel like you’ve plopped yourself right into the heart of a major Italian city like Florence and Rome.

After I travelled through Italy just a few years ago I realized just how important food is to their culture in general, and it really puts things into perspective, especially for a person who lives their life by the motto: Love People. Cook them tasty food.

That really is the way of life in Italy, and of course it goes towards much more than just the normal fettuccine Alfred that you’ll find everywhere in the United States. One of my favorite dishes in all of Italian food has got to be gelato. It’s the creamiest, most delicious form of ice cream I’ve ever had, and when in Rome, you must by gelato. It doesn’t necessarily matter what flavor you get because it all tastes amazing, and it’s the best way to cap a great meal of whatever Italian dishes you like the best.

So for now what I’m going to do is talk about my very favorite Italian food dishes that make my mouth water just writing about them, and this is a list that I created throughout my travels of Italy, although most of these dishes can be found at your local, neighborhood restaurant.

My first dish on the list is Chicken Saltimbocca, which in Italian can be translated into a phrase that means jumps into someone’s mouth, and that’s exactly what this dish does when you order it. It has a great combination of meats including chicken and one of my favorite Italian meats, prosciutto. You add in a little bit of some healthy spinach to get your muscles strong and then sprinkle on the mozzarella, which is a standard for any great Italian dish.

Another great Italian dish that is a must order is veal ossobucco. It’s definitely a little bit different than the other veal dishes you’ve probably ever had in that it’s covered in a very tasty tomato sauce, but it’s going to usually be a thick slice of veal that more than likely actually is the best in the city.

Another great combination of Italian food that I’m always up for is any kind of seafood pasta, and that can include clams with linguine, shrimp and scallops or even mussels, but when you combine all of them together with some fried calamari and some pesto and cream sauce you know you’ll be getting some of the very best past you’ve ever had. It’s always a good call when you get a Mediterranean style pasta from a Mediterranean restaurant.

The thing is if I really had to eat Italian food all the time, all day, every day, I would have to find some healthy versions of the genre just so I don’t have heart attack after a year or so, and one of my favorite healthy Italian dishes include Caprese salad and bruschetta. When you combine these two dishes for your lunch, you’ll be sure to have a lot of energy for the rest of your day. In Italy it’s customary to not eat your dinner until around 8 p.m., but it’s also customary to eat a small snack around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and these types of dishes are always my go to when I need a little afternoon pick me up meal.

Of course there is also the classic Italian dish that no one can ever deny, and that’s the famous Chicken parmigiana. We all know this dish as a life lock for a lot of us, and it’s really easy to make at home. Of course it can also work really well in a sub, and is one of my go to sandwiches when I’m looking to try to make something special in the kitchen with limited supplies. It’s a hit no matter where you are, especially in the Wine Country.

But Italian food is good no matter what you order, that’s what makes Italian culture the most foodie of all cultures around the world, and everyone loves them for that. Thank you to SEO consultant Los Angeles for all of their support!

Traveling Food Tour

California, is the central hub of diversified culture on the west coast. It has a vast array of ethnic choices, when it comes to cuisine. Choices ranging from Asian to Mediterranean, Hispanic, Persian and even Soul food, to name a few. It is the ultimate “melting pot” of culinary culture. Along with other artistic endeavors, Los Angeles has done its best to accommodate the traditional Italian and their need for authentic Italian cuisine. The kind that tastes just like Grandma made it. But, with so many Americans developing adverse reactions to food additives, whether natural or synthetic, it makes it difficult for everyone to enjoy these culinary experiences. And, that is genuinely a shame. Food is a universal language and everyone should have an opportunity to experience a different culture.

Some of these adverse reactions are materializing in forms like lactose intolerance and even Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is an intolerance for the natural protein, gluten. With the majority of Italian foods containing, some sort of gluten. I think it is safe to say that Italian food is not necessarily a friendly companion for those who suffer from Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease, is adverse reaction to the natural gluten contained in most wheat, barley and rye products like bread and pasta. It effects the immune system, targeting the intestines and preventing the absorption of needed minerals and nutrients into the blood stream. Not only does this condition limit the dietary choices of those individuals who suffer from this disease but, when it comes to enjoying Italian cuisine, it can also be severally life threatening.

To address the issue of dietary restrictions, Los Angeles food culturehas made some changes to eliminate the problem and allow those with dietary restrictions to experience the fresh, natural goodness of Mediterranean cuisine. From Italian grocery stores, pizzerias, bakeries, restaurants and cafe’s. They have adopted gluten-free friendly menu’s. In addition to their usual menu items, they offer soy or rice based breads, pasta’s and pizza’s. Some are even known to have adopted a “greener” philosophy using locally grown fruits and vegetables, hormone free beef and chicken products, as well as soy based products to accommodate those with a lactose intolerance. Locally grown and hormone free offerings have given those who have an adverse reaction to food additives an opportunity to experience Italian cuisine in its most natural state.

Almost every restaurant that offers an Italian cultural experience in Los Angeles, California has adopted a gluten-free menu option. This adaption allows those who suffer from a gluten intolerance to explore several Italian dishes that they might otherwise have not been able to experience. Some businesses and establishments like restaurants, bakeries, cafe’s and even grocery stores in the Los Angeles area have also adopted other green philosophies such as organic, locally grown, hormone free, gluten free and even vegan products. This adaption will allow more people to experience the vast array of cultural cuisine that can only be found in Los Angeles.

Where Americans have embraced the Italian art of fine cuisine, nothing compares to the traditions and true culinary experience that can be had by experiencing it in its authentic state. Denying those who suffer from adverse affects to the natural proteins or the unnatural additives that authentic experience would, most certainly, be a shame. But, thanks to Los Angeles and its cultural diversity, those who suffer from reactions and disorders or diseases that prevent them from the authentic experience true Italian cuisine, are no longer hindered.

Last weekend I traveled to a little town called Surrey just outside of Vancouver BC. Surprisingly enough they have amazing italian food there. Inside of this little restaurant they had a vancouver bc photo booth setup inside. It was such a good time. We climbed in and took photos of us eating pasta! What a way to enjoy food! I will never forget this place.

Venetian meals

In some areas of Italy you will also find that bordering countries have had an influence on local cuisine and family traditions. Bordering countries such as France, Switzerland, Austria and even Greece have had slight influences on Italian food and even how they are prepared. For instance, in my Mothers native Calabria, pita bread is often implemented in antipasto dishes. And Italian consumption of wine, cheese and bread was influenced by its neighboring France. Regardless of the influences of adjoining countries, Italian cuisine remains very individualized and can not be mistaken for anything other than Italian. The last time I went to Italy I decided to take LAX Car Service to the airport. My driver was Italian, and had so many wonderful things to say about his home land out side of Florence. He insisted that I went there and that they have the best olive oil in all of italy.

Typical Venetian meals and Calabrese meals did differ, somewhat. It seems my parents found a greater diversity than I myself did. The only real difference that I could ever pinpoint, was the polenta. Well, that and my Mother leaned towards more vegetables than my father did, since primary vegetables among Venetians are usually restricted to mushrooms, potatoes and tomatoes. Customary Venetian food consisted of things like Polenta, of course, Sardines, crab, Goby, Rice, Boiled potatoes, Gnocchi, Bigoli pasta, Pasta e faxioi, which is generally just a bean soup with egg noodles and sweet breads like Pandoro, biscotti and the family favorite, Epiphany cake. Typical foods that are native to Calabria are more vegetable based. Dishes made with tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, artichokes and wild mushrooms. The meats didn’t differ too greatly from Venetian custom. Seafood and pork were still primary. But, instead of Goby and crab it was more lobster, shrimp, trout and cod. They did, however, share a love for fried sardines and pancetta, which is liver. It seemed the only thing my parents could ever did completely agree on was that they both loved food. But, my Mother did concede on my Fathers choice of deserts, since Tiramisu and Epiphany cake originated with my Fathers Venetian roots. Who could pass up Tiramisu?

Dinners where almost always different every week, there were some aspects that remained the same. In an attempt to pacify my Father and keep him happy, my Mother varied some items every week. She was willing to compromise on the type of pasta served, the sauces used, the meats that were prepared and even the cheeses that were served. And even though my Mother was far from a fan, she always ensured that there was fresh polenta served at family dinners. Polenta is a traditional dish made from cornmeal. I have always likened it to the cornmeal mush that is served in the South. But,regardless of her willingness to compromise on some things she was unwavering in her implementation of eggplant Parmesan and some sort of dish that contained her wild mushrooms.

Italians are unwavering in the expectation of how a certain meal should be prepared and what should and should not be served with it. For instance, Parmesan should never be served with fish or any fish based dish. The only time soda or any other alcoholic beverage, besides wine, is alright to be served with dinner is if you are eating pizza. And yes, the cardinal rule, cappuccino is not served at a meal, under any circumstances. It is a breakfast or midday beverage and you sit down to drink it. You never drink it on the go. With these expectations and several more ancient traditions to adhere to, it is a small wonder that finding authentic Italian cuisine. Unless, you are in Los Angeles.

Italian Food

Italian food is considered to be a very healthy, natural diet. In fact, doctors have recommended the adoption of an Italian based diet as a means for their patients to either lose or maintain weight in an American adaption that has been coined “the Mediterranean diet”. Since, there is a wide use of olive oils and fresh fish, which are rich in Omega 3, fresh fruits and vegetables and fresh herbs as a means to flavor our foods versus fatty sauces and additives like butter and dressings. These practices vary by region as well. With the more Northern communities consuming more a starchy diet with the daily consumption of rices and potatoes and the more Southern communities eating a larger variation of fruits, vegetables and nuts. These variations, of course, due to the climate and farm land.

Being both, Calabrese [a Southern Italian region] and Venetian [a Northeastern Italian region], family meals were most certainly, diverse. But, one thing is always universal, Pasta. Pasta is, of course, a part of every meal, rarely served with meat and never a side dish. Usually served with a bolognese sauce or olives and fresh vegetables like tomatoes, artichokes, peppers, mushrooms or any other combination of vegetables and an array of herbs like garlic, basil and oregano. There is a large variation of pasta, like penne, rigatoni, spaghetti, fettuccine and the list goes on. The pasta dictates the sauce used. For instance, a spaghetti or penne pasta would call for a bolognese and fettuccine would call for an olive oil or Alfredo sauce.

Pasta is usually the second course that follows antipasto, which is Italian for “before the meal”. It could be interpreted as the hors d’oeuvre or the appetizer portion of the meal. It is usually a combination of one or more variations of cured, salted or dried meats such as: Salami, Cacciatore, Capacollo or Prosciutto. All of which are beef or pork based meats, salted, cured but never fried or baked. They are served in combination with tomatoes, any variety of cheeses like, feta, ricotta or fresh mozzarella, as well as olives, fresh basil and breads like crostini. Bruschetta was also a favorite antipasto during Sunday family gatherings. Served crostini, with fresh mozzarella and cherry tomatoes with basil and olive oil with lemon juice.

Having a Venetian Father and a Calabrese Mother, both extremely traditional, made meal times an adventure. Since, the women of the family are considered the matriarchs and decide what is to be served at family dinners, they rarely agreed on the dishes that were to be served. Due to the fact that my Father was raised accustomed to more fish and seafood like crab and Goby along with grilled meats like pork and chicken, whereas my Mother was accustomed to more of the salted and cured meats and seafood like lobster and shrimp. These disagreements served as a solid testament to the variation of food tastes being dictated by the region of origin. Fresh ingredients are used regularly in Italian cultural cuisines. Fresh vegetables like zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, olives and fresh cheeses like feta, ricotta or mozzarella and fresh herbs like basil, garlic and oregano. Even wild mushrooms and fresh olives are integrated into a traditional family meal, regardless of region.

Worldly Pasta

American culture is rich with ethnic diversity. Especially, in its food. Being a “melting-pot” of so many different ethnic backgrounds gives us a wide variety, when it comes to food choices. Among the more popular food choices American’s make is, Italian food. The array of Italian food is endless. Where everyone may love Italian food, not everyone can eat it. With dietary restriction such as, lactose intolerance and Celiac Disease, as well as many food allergies and allergies to the additives, these individuals are limited in their ethnic food choices. So, eating out is not always an option. To help conquer the barrier of dietary restriction, some restaurants on the west coast have adapted their menu’s to accommodate those individuals who are restricted in the food they can enjoy. Especially, the most popular Italian food, Pizza.

The Italian culture has an immense appreciation for creativity and all things natural. We are a passionate group of people who love art, music, architecture and the two most important aspects of our lives are, family and food. And, trust me when I say, they are both synonymous. Food is large part of Italian culture, as is family. And not just the American dynamic of what the “family unit” consists of, but a more extended version. Italians are close knit and include not just the immediate family unit such as mother, father and children but, it goes so far as to include grandparents, of both parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, so on and so forth. Under many circumstances, cousins are raised as close as siblings.

Food is a given at any traditional Italian family gathering. There are so many variations of Italian cuisine, and its composition, as well as the method of preparation which always differs. These factors are decided by family traditions and the geographic origin of the family. For instance, Northern Italians do not eat the same as Southern Italians and Southern and Northern Italians do not eat the same as Central Italians, and so on and so forth. American’s are very familiar with Central Italian cuisine such as spaghetti and pizza but do not always get to or chose to experience the cuisine native to other Italian regions.