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e-book Glossary of Italian Food

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Watching these is almost as good as actually traveling to Italy and eavesdropping on conversations which is impolite, anyway. The real-world videos like movie clips, inspirational talks and, yes, cooking videos come with interactive subtitles that allow you to see the definition of any word as you go and even hear it in use in other situations. Of course, the very best way to understand Italian cooking is to take an Italian train up and down the boot, stopping at restaurants and kitchens every few kilometers to sample and observe cooking techniques. Then, correct matching is a matter of life or death.

Be careful, as pasta-matching laws do vary by region. Italian Wikipedia has the best overview and lots of photos. You might be tempted, when interpreting Italian recipes, to toss in a few more things, as the ingredient lists can seem austere to the untrained chef. Simplicity is the whole point.

Italian cuisine celebrates the expert combination of just a few very high-quality ingredients. For your own sake, move. Americans can switch such a scale to metric. Do note that some regions have different words for the same thing. One example is broccoli rabe: It can be called broccoletti in Rome, rapini in Tuscany and friarielli in Naples. Often, verbs in recipes are written in the plural command form , which ends in -ate, -ete, or -ite. Trasferite le in una seconda pentola. If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Italian with real-world videos.

Experience Italian immersion online! Originating from Tuscany, they are designed to be dipped into coffee or a sweet wine called vin santo. See recipe for Cantucci. Either preserved in vinegar or salt they add a piquant, peppery flavor to Italian dishes. This cheese has a very pungent flavor which becomes much stronger as it ages. Fresh it is used in salads or as an appetizer. Can be orange, red, yellow, green or black. Also known as Bell Pepper. This vegetable which resembles celery is actually part of the artichoke family. They are eaten raw in salads, and fried, braised or baked as a side dish.

affettati cold cuts, sliced meats

Originating in Sicily where they grow wild, they are now cultivated across Italy. A specialty of Roman cooking, they are often braised or boiled before eating. Small, tender, young artichokes can be thinly sliced, dressed as a salad, and eaten raw.

See more about Artichokes. An important ingredient in Tuscan, Ligurian and Sardinian cuisine, both fresh, and dried and milled into flour. Chestnuts are poached in wine, roasted, or fried in butter as a garnish. In Piedmonte, they candy chestnuts to make marrons glace. An important ingredient in many hearty winter soups, there are a number of varieties found in Italy. Cavolo Nero is a very dark leafy cabbage found in Tuscany. Cooked in many ways including in tomato sauce. Also is used in a traditional pasta sauce. See recipe for Cauliflower. CECI — Also known as garbanzo beans, or chickpeas.

Shaped like small hazelnuts, they have a nutty flavor. This peppery wild leaf can now be found in a cultivated version which tends to have a little milder flavor. Young leaves are served in salads, while older, more bitter leaves should be braised. A green bitter vegetable unless harvested young. Looks like broccoli but has skinnier stalks.

The leaves, stems and florets are eaten. Really good sauteed with garlic and olive oil and served over pasta. Also known as Italian broccoli, rabe, rapini. See recipe for Cima di Rape. These are the ancestors of domestic pigs which used to roam wild in the forests of Tuscany and Sradinia. The meat is used in the same manner as pork. This vegetable plays an important part in Italian cuisine, and a number of varieties grow in Italy. The red variety are the most common variety used for general cooking. See more about Onions. Farmed and wild rabbits are often used in place of veal or chicken in Italian cuisine.

It is often slow braised with herbs, wine and vegetables. A thick deep red paste bought in tubes or cans used in small quantities to thicken sauces or give colour and to enhance flavour. COPPA — A salted and dried sausage made from the neck or shoulder of pork often used in sandwiches or as an antipasto.

It is deep red in color and can be found in both mild and spicy versions. See Italian Liqueurs. Used to thicken sauces etc. Also called cornstarch. Cotoletta Milanese is a thinly breaded veal chop fried golden brown and served with lemon wedges. It is a specialty of Emilia Romagna, and is often served on a bed of stewed lentils.

When dried and milled, it becomes semolina flour, which is what pasta is made out of. However, as a grain, it makes a terrific rice substitute that has the advantage of being more flavorful nutty with an interesting texture as long as it is not over cooked as well as about five times quicker to make than rice. These are used in many pasta and fish dishes, as well as served on their own after steaming them in a flavorful broth.

See recipe for Cozze. Its texture and flavor are similiar to that of a mild cream cheese, and it becomes very soft and spreadable at room temperature.

Italian Ingredient Glossary A to N | Italian Food Forever

These thin pancake like sheets are filled with a savory filling for a first course, or a sweet filling for dessert. See recipe for Crespelle. Spaghetti al Diavolillo is a signature dish of the area that uses this hot chili. Diavolillo is also dried and ground, flavoring much of the food in Abruzzo and Molise. Thought to have properties to aid in digestion. Usually boiled and served cold or stewed with tomato, garlic and herbs.

This bird is very popular in Italy and is prepared as you would prepare chicken.

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They are often pot roasted, or cooked in a casserole with wild mushrooms and other seasonings. Most Italian bakers use 00 or doppio zero flour which is softer than all-purpose flour. If you cannot find it, use 2 tablespoons less of all-purpose flour per cup than the recipe calls for. One of the hardest of all grains, it must be soaked for a long period before cooking, and is commonly used in soups and salads. See recipe for Zuppa di Farro. FAVA — Fava beans are best eaten very fresh in the spring and early summer when they are small and tender.


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Later, they can be cooked and skinned. Very popular around Rome they are often served with prosciutto or pecorino cheese. See recipe for Fava Beans. Usually calves liver is preferred. Fegato alla Veneziano is a famous dish made with liver. See recipe for Egg Pasta. FICO — Figs. Figs are grown across Italy, and are eaten both fresh in the summer months and dried throughtout the rest of the year. Figs can be either purple or green, and both are sweet and tender when ripe. Often served on their own, figs are often served with nuts, prosciutto, salami, or cooked in desserts.

These are small fish preserved in oil or salt and often used in Italian dishes for flavoring. Yet another important vegetable to Italian cuisine, it has a delicate flavor of aniseed and a very crisp, refreshing texture similar to celery. Often eaten raw, it also makes a great vegetable side dish baked or braised. Yellowish in color and very fragrant, fennel grows wild in the highlands of Italy.

100 Italian Food/Drink Words and Phrases

The seeds are used to flavor roasts of meat and fish, as well as cured meats and sausages. A mixture of melted cheese usually Fontina and wine into which foods like bread and vegetables are dipped, typical of Northern Italy. It may also be used as a sauce for vegetables. It is a young cheese, with a mild, nutty flavor and creamy texture.

FRISELLE — Also known as Frisedde or Frise, this is a hard twice-cooked bread roll that looks similar to a split bagel, which is first soaked in water, then dressed with tomatoes, oregano and extra-virgin olive oil. Refers to a mix of berries often served with lemon, sugar, or ice cream. There are many varieties of shrimp in the waters around Italy, including gambaretti, small pink shrimp, gamberelli, larger shrimp most often used in fritto misto or mixed fry, and larger still are gamberi. Shrimp are used in a vast number of Italian recipes.

Dictionary of Italian Cuisine

See recipe for Shrimp Scampi. See recipes for Gelato. GNOCCHI — These are small dumplings, and can be made from just about any starchy vegetable commonly the potato , ricotta cheese, or semolina flour. They are served like pasta or risotto, as a first course, and should be light in texture, and almost melt in the mouth.

See recipes for Gnocchi. Young, it has an almost sweet, mellow flavor, although once aged it can become quite powerful. They are basically very similar cheeses although of the two, Grana Padano matures marginally faster. Granita are usually made with a simple flavored sugar syrup rather than an egg custard or cream base as gelato is. GRAPPA — A colorless alcohol with an alcohol content of 40 percent distilled from the pressed skins and seeds of the grapes left after wine making.

Refers to all types in this family such as invidia riccia and scarola curly and broad-leafed escarole , and invidia belga Belgian endive. Popular examples are insalata mista mixed , insalata verde greens only ; insalata russa mixed cooked vegetables diced with mayonnaise. Insalata di mare is a mix of cold seafood. See recipes for Salads. See recipes for Lasagna. It must be mixed with acidic ingredients to work. Baking powder contains baking soda and a powdered acid, so it can work without other acidic ingredients.

They grow in a pod in the area around Umbria, and are always podded and dried before using. Often stewed with vegetables as a side dish, or made into a salad, they also are served with zampone or cotecchino. See recipe for Lentil Soup.

Glossary of Italian Cooking Terms

Lemons grow across Italy, both in some of the northern regions as well as the south. The Almafi coast however is the most famous region in Italy growing lemons where they flourish. The juice of the lemon is used in many Italian dishes, and enhances the flavor of many vegetable, meat, and seafood dishes. The term covers the range of distilled spirits, such as grappa and brandy, and compositions, such as amaro, limonello and sambuca. See recipes for Italian Liqueurs. Much of the pork in Italy is turned into sausage, salami and hams, although Italians across Italy do enjoy fresh pork.

Common methods of cooking it are roasting, grilling, and braising it with milk. Roasemary and sage are both popular herbs used with pork. See recipes for Pork. In Sardinia, they also add saffron to the dough. Two varieties of almonds are grown and used in Italy, dolci or sweet almonds used in desserts and baking, and mandorle amare or bitter almonds which are used in liqueurs and in ammaretti cookies.

Although much of the beef found in Italy is though to be of poorer quality than that found in North America, Tuscan beef from Val di Chiana used in the famous bistecche alla fiorentna is thought to rival any other beef worlwide. Less tender cuts of beef are stewed, braised or ground. See recipes for Beef. See recipe for Veal Marsala.

Top 10 Popular Italian Food Items

Often used in the same fashion as whipped cream, it is an important ingredient in Tiramisu.