If there is any other International cuisine as popular as Chinese food in India, it has to be Italian. Pizzas and pastas are very much a part of our food habits, and they feature commonly in numerous cafes and restaurants across the country. However, despite being popular, there are a few notions that are commonly associated with Italian cuisine that are far from the truth. It's about time these myths were debunked!
1. Italian Cuisine is Bland
India is a country that loves its spices and when used in Indian preparations, these spices are a riot of flavours. However, Italian cuisine believes in bringing out the most authentic and original taste of the ingredients used in a recipe. For examples, if tomatoes are used in a dish, it is important to retain the flavour of tomato while making an Italian preparation. The food, which many consider to be bland, in fact attempts to tingle the taste buds, allowing the person consuming a dish to clearly identify the different ingredients that make up the dish.
2. Italian Food = Pasta and Pizza
Italian cuisine is popular across the world for its pastas and pizzas, but Italian food comprises of many more mouth-watering dishes like Brasato (a wine based stew), gnocchi (pasta made of potatoes), Fritti (fried finger food), Risotto, etc. Even the types of pastas, pizzas and risottos vary from region to region. Just like the biryani in India, which has completely different avatars in different parts if the country, Italian cuisine also has different variants of their dishes, which signify the region they represent. In addition to enjoying a good Italian meal, it would be worthwhile to also find out the roots and the culture that an Italian dish brings with it.
3. Italian Dishes are Creamy and Rich
Every accomplished chef will invariably state that cream is an ingredient that is used by underprepared chefs to hide any preparation errors. Unlike common belief, cream is a rare ingredient that is hardly every used while preparing Italian food. The sauce that people know as white sauce is, in fact, cheese sauce made out of cheese and milk (and not very often eaten in Italy). This also validates the fact that the authentic form of Italian cooking is not unhealthy at all.
(Cook with olive oil and other healthy oils. Buy them here)
4. My Pasta Seems to Be Undercooked
It is a common complaint by people not familiar with al dente that the food prepared al dente style is undercooked. However, this form of Italian cooking needs the pasta to be firm to the bite and the slightly crunchy texture to al dente dishes makes it easy to digest, making it a healthier option.
5. Wash that Pasta Well
It is an Indian custom to wash fruits, vegetables and grains before cooking them. But it is important to bear in mind that Italian cooking is different. Pastas must never be washed before keeping it to boil, as they will otherwise lose all their starch and the healthy nutrients will be lost. While picking a packet of pasta, it is imperative to select a good brand which would not require rinsing.
About the Author:
Chef Marou is the new Italian Head Chef at Alto Vino, the International restaurant at Bengaluru Marriott Hotel, Whitefield. Chef Marou comes with an extensive experience of 13 years in the industry and is an expert at his genre of Italian cooking. He started his career in 2003 as a trainee and then grew up to become the Sous Italian Chef in 2011 at Grand Hyatt, Muscat. He is an eloquent personality with a positive attitude towards life.
The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.