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Cutting Edge Italian Cuisine


Italian cuisine is traditionally marked by the use of garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. However, modern chefs are pushing the limits — bringing in ingredients from the Orient, breaking traditions, and diversifying an already incredible array of dishes.

For example, pasta is traditionally served warm. But borrowing from the Japanese cold soba noodles, some chefs have developed recipes where refrigeration is actually required. It is a refreshing way of serving pasta with fresh vegetables and fruits, and certainly suited to Italy's sometimes warm climate.

Pasta has also been mixed with unusual ingredients, such as crab fat, or mangoes, or even truffles and caviar. Some have even gone so far as to incorporate raw fish and seafood — a celebration of the incredibly abundant oceans of the country. While these dishes may not appeal to everyone, it does affirm pasta's versatility, and how well Italian techniques and ingredients work well with that of other cultures. Some chefs are even experimenting with strong spices like curry or cajun — not just in pasta, but in chicken dishes, carefully balancing those flavours with Italy's spectrum of cheeses.

Pizzas have also been embraced by other cuisines, who have added their own version of toppings. While the traditional Neopolitan pizza used nothing but tomato sauce, parmesan, and oregano, the question today is what is not being used as a possible pizza topping. An "eastern" pizza even makes use of shiitake mushrooms.

Italian cuisine has spread to all corners of the world. As it is embraced by other cultures, it in turn benefits from the experimentation and localization of its traditional flavours and techniques.


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