The magic of Italian culture comes from the influence of many cultures that have mingled for centuries.
Greeks, Jews, Celts, French, Arabs, Spaniards, and many more contributed to what we know as Italian cuisine.
What makes it so unique is the fact that Italians do not like to stray from their roots. So many ingredients are known staples, and you can find them in many dishes.
Some ingredients considered central pieces of Italian cuisine didn’t even exist in Italy before someone else introduced them to the country.
Some examples are tomatoes, chocolate, and chili pepper.
From Ancient Roman cuisine, Italians got their vegetables, fruits, cereals, legumes, cheese, eggs. Still, the most important is definitively olive oil.
Romans also created many different types of cheeses, like mozzarella, ricotta, and pecorino.
In medieval times, convents became the ones doing the cooking and developing Italian cuisine.
Monks left the Italians a massive tradition of wines and liqueurs. And many sweets we born in convents. Cannoli was the star of the Carnevale, nuns would make them, and people would gift them to each other.
The renaissance came, and food became a source of art, spices were used, but they were costly.
Then America was discovered, and with it came beans, potatoes, cocoa, tomatoes, and plenty of other ingredients.
Fast forward to the 19th century, the middle-class rises and many businesses were open. Food that was only reserved for the rich became for the people too.
Coffee, chocolate, and ice cream became really popular and a source of riches to the new business owners.