Food. It is the driving force that led us to become the dominant species on the planet. Many would argue that our ability to control fire did that, but fire was the spark that allowed us to cook food. And with cooked food came a whole host of advantages that propelled us forward into modern times. Cooking food allowed our ancient ancestors to keep food for longer periods of time, meaning they needed to hunt less and could spend more time on other tasks. Not to mention the health benefits that came from meat and other foods being cooked. We only went from strength to strength.
As our species developed, so did our relationship with food. Soon we were in a position that food was abundant and slowly it became ingrained into the cultures and civilizations that formed. Soon different nations were putting their own spin on food. Cultural identities became established and based around different ways of cooking and what ingredients were used. People started making their careers centered around food. And we now arrive in modern times where whole countries lead the way in food creation and food culture. And we are going to look at one of the most influential and respected countries for food. Italy.
Everyone knows what Italy is famous for. Pasta, Pizza, hearty bread, and rich, strong flavors. But the philosophy behind these dishes is what pushed Italy ahead of the curve. Italy was an extremely rich and powerful nation at the height of Rome. And as such, they were able to put on lavish feasts and stockpiled an abundance of food. This idea became ingrained in their culture. When they cook they are focused on large meals meant to be shared with many. You can see it in the dishes. Pasta works best when enough is created to feed many. Pizza is sliced up and ready to share with the family. Bread is broken and passed around to everyone.
This philosophy of sharing and large gatherings means they are always willing to welcome anyone to the table. And as eating becomes a communal activity more and more, this idea is why so many flock to Italian food and culture.
An interesting historical note on the invention of pizza. Everyone assumes it was invented in Italy, but this is false. It was actually created in America in the early days of its colonization. But it was created by Italians. The dish is Italian at its core but shows how Italy became such a hub for food culture. They never hid their dishes in one place, but rather took their food and their philosophy of food to the world at large. Building relationships with others based around it and creating bonds that inspired others to copy them in the kitchen.
As the world became more connected with the aide of technology, Italy did not sit idle. They leaped at the chance to begin sharing everything they learned and all the new and exciting cooking techniques they were silently mastering. With the advent of the internet, they could create websites to share heaps of information such as reviews of food mixers, or impastatrice planetaria. They are leading the front on recipe books and they export some of the most well known and skilled chefs anywhere in the Western World.
As the world became more adept at cooking and people started experimenting more and more with their food, Italy still lead the charge. Italian culture has always been very focused on using a variety of ingredients and spices to create different favors of familiar dishes. This style of experimenting is a staple of the cooking world now. But more than that, their society values care in the cooking process.
As our world has become more commercial, it has also become a world where we want things as soon as possible. This has lead restaurants and food chains to churn out as much food as possible in the most efficient way. Yet Italian food experts and chefs still put the value of taking the time and putting a lot of love and care into your cooking. They claim it enhances the overall experience
Going back into the past, Italy is most well known for being home to the Roman Empire. But it is not as well know that for a long period of time, Italy was conquered and run by various different nations while its native Italian people were related to what became Istanbul. This fact plays a huge part in how Italy became a culture food hub. Because the Italian people and their ideas are what made Italy, not the location. And the same applies to their food. Even when not in Italy, they developed and grew their food culture. They continued to share and learn and teach other empires new and exciting ways to view food.
All of this information combines together to show just how important Italy is in terms of food history and also modern-day food culture. They lead the way in a lot of food innovations and show us how we should approach food and more than that, how we should think of our families and friends. To them, food is about coming together. An admirable philosophy to be sure.