Going out to eat can be a great way to experience unique culture and cuisine. Although there are many Italian restaurants in operation throughout the United States today, many of these establishments feature menu items that have been heavily influenced by American culture. If you want to enjoy a more authentic Italian experience, you need to find a restaurant that serves authentic Italian food.
Here are three characteristics that you can look for when trying to determine if an Italian restaurant's menu is authentic.
1. Staple Ingredients
When it comes to authentic Italian cooking, most dishes feature a simple array of staple ingredients. These ingredients include olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs. As you evaluate a restaurant's menu, you should check to see that the dishes included on the menu are prepared using these three staple ingredients.
Authentic Italian food will always be built around staple ingredients, so using these items as a baseline will help you discover the most authentic restaurant in your area.
2. Fresh Vegetables
Another characteristic that authentic Italian dishes share is the use of fresh vegetables during preparation. Fresh, seasonal vegetables are important in Italian cooking, and these ingredients can be incorporated into the main dish or served on the side.
Authentic Italian dishes feature fresh vegetables that are prepared in a manner that draws out their natural flavor. Some popular options include eggplant, tomatoes, asparagus, and artichoke. Looking for these fresh vegetables on the menu will help you identify which Italian restaurants in your area are serving the most authentic cuisine.
When it comes to Italian cooking, cheese plays a vital role in most dishes. Italian chefs use cheese to add both flavor and texture to each dish. Many of the cheeses used in authentic Italian cooking are considered hard cheeses.
Check the menu for Romano and Parmesan cheeses when you are trying to determine if a restaurant is serving authentic Italian cuisine. You can also look for the incorporation of mozzarella, as this cheese is popular in many traditional Italian dishes as well.
Being able to identify an authentic Italian menu is the first step in locating a restaurant serving authentic Italian food. Be sure that you are looking for key characteristics like the use of staple ingredients, the incorporation of fresh vegetables into each dish, and the generous use of cheese when determining if a restaurant's food can be classified as authentic.
Use these tips and factors when checking out your local restaurants, such as Villa Romana Italian Restaurant.