The Many Cultural Influences on Italian Food

The history of Italian food and the history of Italy begins about 13,000 years ago when the Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans settled in the Italian peninsula roughly in 1,000 BCE. However, it wasn’t until around 400 BCE that cultural influences began shaping Italian cooking. 

The noted epicure Marcus Gavius Apicius, the author of the oldest known cookbook, De Ra Coquinaria (The Art of Cookery), laid out rules of proper cooking technique in the first century AD. Because of the many cultural influences on Italian cooking, this book helped unify these diverse influences. 

The many cultural influences on Italian cooking included the Etruscans who introduced pulmentum, which is the precursor to polenta. The Arabs who introduced dry pasta, the forerunner to lasagna, to the southern Italian region. While the Germanic Lombards introduced northern Italy to rich and savory flavors.

Today, the multi-cultural influences on Italian cooking still shine through the differences between the north and south. Each region retains its own cooking tradition that reflects the deep history of Italian food that continues to offer delicious food. 

When you want to enjoy great Italian food in Westlake Village, come join us at Bellini Osteria. 

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