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Food is culture. Food is art. Food is love. Food is passion. Food may be a necessity, but it has also been a sophisticated pleasure, a philosophy, and a science since ancient times.
Decisions are made around a table set with food and wine, which, like culture, art and love, have its own rituals: They bring people together and make moments memorable.
Throughout Italy’s history, more than anywhere else in the world, the emotions and rituals associated with food and wine are integral to the country’s traditions and customs and are an essential part of the Italian way of life.
A fireplace, chestnuts roasting, polenta simmering, a bottle of wine, bread, cheese and olive oil on the table, a child playing, a mother’s hug, a father’s delight: This image we have is, indeed, a cultural pastime.
Italy, the country with a language of a million words, an infinite number of towns, innumerable churches, is also the country with multiple cuisines, countless recipes and myriad wines.
Today Italian cuisine is highly cherished around the world and goes beyond the stereo-typical pizza and pasta dishes; people are discovering a colorful, flavorful set of magnificent dishes, an explosion of simplicity and natural ingredients.
Every region has its own treasure, a signature dish, a particular wine and product, gifts of nature and core of traditions.
Most Italian meals consist of a “primo”, pasta or rice course, “secondo”, meat or fish, and “contorno”, usually vegetables or salad on the side. Meals can include “antipasto”, hors d’oeuvres, “dolce”, dessert, and “frutta”, fruit. Submitted by Ann McGowan