I’m fascinated by the origin of a particular dish: Spaghetti alla Napoletana, Tagliatelle alla Bolognese…
or a Chef’s creation for someone famous: Steak Rossini, Peach Melba…
It means that it has taken a cook a lot of thought, and time, and skill, to blend and mix and create a particular dish in a way which brings out the best flavour, the best taste, from all the ingredients.
Yes, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, aubergines…and even cocoa and coffee have come to Italy by way of the
‘Discovery’ of America, but are now an integral part of Italian cooking.
And yes, it is incorrect to speak of ‘Italy’ before 1870, when the troops of Garibaldi stormed Rome and a Nation was created. But how else can we be understood of which place we are talking about?
The place was divided in States, each with its own dialect, usage, and ‘cooking’ and we are all the better for the wealth of regional dishes we have inherited.