~Italian Food


All About Risotto in Italian Food

There is really no definitive answer as to how rice arrived in Italy.  However, as soon as it made its way to Italy in the fourteenth century, most likely from Spain, it became a hit in Italian food.  Areas of the country outside of Milan have the perfect blend of flat land, water, and humidity to make rice cultivation a very successful endeavor.  The intensive rice cultivation that began in the fourteenth century has continued and has made rice a staple in regional Italian food.  

Perhaps the most popular example of rice in Italian food is in risotto.  Although risotto is considered a very serious dish in Italian food, it actually started out as a joke.  As the legend goes a young apprentice was staining the glass used in the Duomo di Milano, a magnificent gothic cathedral, in 1574.  He was relentlessly teased because it looked as if he had added saffron to pigments in order to obtain more vibrant and brilliant colors.  When it came time for his master's wedding, he decided to play a little joke to show how tired he was of the teasing.  So, he added saffron to the rice that was to be served at the wedding.  The plan backfired and the rice was so popular amongst the wedding guests that it became the staple of Italian food that we know today.  

There are four main components to the risotto we know in Italian food today.  The first is the soffritto.  Sometimes this can be special ingredients specific to the type of risotto being made.  However, it is typically a mixture of vegetables, butter, oil, and onions.  This mixture is sautéed in the same skillet where the rice will later be cooked.  The next component is the broth.  The broth can be homemade or canned and can be beef, chicken, vegetable, or fish.  The third component is the flavoring ingredient.  This is the component that will give the risotto its specific flavor.  This can range from vegetables to meat, truffles, or the ingredient that started it all, saffron.  Now of course, the final component is Italian rice.  The rice that is used in Italian food is made up of large grains with lots of starch.  This rice is perfect for risotto because it can absorb large amounts of liquid and still remain firm.  

Risotto is a very popular Italian food dish, but it is also one of the most botched Italian food dishes because of the precise way in which the rice is prepared.  Some tips to making it successfully at home include not washing the rice.  If you were to wash the rice beforehand it would eliminate much of the starch that is needed to make good Italian food.  There are also different types of Italian food rice and you will want to pick the rice that is most appropriate for your recipe.  All rice is not created equal so check your recipe and cookbooks to decide which rice is best to use.  You'll also want to use a double-bottom sauté pan.

This will keep the heat uniform to make sure the rice cooks evenly.  It is important to sauté the rice until it is toasted before adding the broth.  However, don't cook it too long or it will harden.  This is the most important part of making an authentic Italian food risotto, make sure the rice is toasted.  After that it is all downhill.  Just follow these tips and pretty soon you'll be cooking like a professional Italian food chef. 

Anchovies in Italian Food

Anchovies are a very important part of the flavor of Italian food.  However, many people, even fans of Italian food claim to not like anchovies.  Some people have bad memories of smelly little fish on pizza that have forever tainted their view of Italian food that includes anchovies.  Unbeknownst to many of these people is the fact that anchovies are widely used in Italian food and it's likely that some of their favorite Italian food dishes are made with anchovies.  

These small and often misunderstood fish are used extensively in Italian food and there comes a point when it is impossible to enjoy Italian food without running into these little guys.  Anchovies are a small saltwater fish.  They are only about three inches long but pack quite a flavor.  There are six different species of anchovies that are used in Italian food.  From April to September is the Sicilian anchovy season and these species are lighter in flavor than the Spanish anchovies that make up a bulk of the anchovies used in Italian food.  

Anchovies must quickly be preserved in order to keep the flavor that is wanted for Italian food intact.  The most traditional way to preserve anchovies is packed in salt.  This is the best way to guarantee an authentic Italian food flavor.  Soon after the fish are caught they are cleaned and washed in salt brine and then set out to dry.  The fish are then layered in round tins with sea salt in between each layer.  The tins are then left to season for up to two months.  A weight is placed on top of the tins in order to compress the fish and remove any extra fluids and fat from the fish.  After the curing time is up they are sealed up and shipped off to be used in different Italian food dishes around the world.

Another way to preserve anchovies is to pack them in olive oil.  This is similar to the above method of preserving, except that after the seasoning period is over the fish are again washed and the scales, skin, and bones are removed before placing the fish in jars or tins of olive oil.  There are other ways to preserve anchovies for use in Italian food, but none are as popular as these first two.  Anchovy paste is readily available, however this paste does not have the anchovy flavor that is desired for Italian food and instead ends up tasting just plain salty.  

When using anchovies in Italian food it is important to rinse them first.  They are much too salty the way you buy them and you want to wash away some of the excess salt.  If you are shopping for anchovies to use in a specific Italian food dish, make sure to buy just enough for the meal you are planning.  Anchovies do not last very long once opened and should be used right away to ensure the flavor.  If you have leftover anchovies then wash them and put them in a jar of olive oil.  Seal the jar and place it in the refrigerator.  This will only buy you five more days but if the fish are left in the tin after opening they will begin to get a metallic flavor that will ruin your Italian food.  

Now you know a little more about this Italian food favorite.  The next time you see anchovies listed as an ingredient at your favorite Italian food restaurant go on and give it a try; you might be surprised at how good it is.   

  Buying Italian Food Online

There seems to be a trend today to return to authentic Italian food.  People are no longer satisfied with the Americanized Italian food that is often served at restaurants, especially chain restaurants.  There is also a move to make more and more Italian food at home.  People like to have control over the food and make healthy substitutions or personalize Italian food recipes.  This is due in large part to the internet.  Before the internet people who wanted to make or buy authentic Italian food had to hope that an Italian family or international market had setup shop in their town or a neighboring city.  Also, the Americanized version of Italian food became popular because it was easy and cheap to make.  However, with the internet people can now learn online in the comfort of their own homes the secrets to making good Italian food and now that shoppers can buy directly from the source it is cheaper to buy ingredients and prepared food.

The internet is truly opening doors not just in Italian food, but in all international cuisine.  But, you do need to be careful when shopping for Italian food online.  The first thing you want to do is make sure that the vendor you are buying from is as close to the source as possible.  If you are looking for a specific ingredient then look for a vendor that specializes in that particular area.  This will help you maintain an authentic taste as well as cut on the costs if you're not dealing with a middle man.  See how long the vendor has been in business and what their experience is with Italian food.  There are dozens of these Italian food specialty shops online, you just need to find the ones that you feel most comfortable with.

Another thing you want to pay special attention to is the shipping charges, especially if you are buying from another country.  In Italian food there are many non perishable items and you will want to buy them in bulk since it is cheaper to ship it in the same order than to order it again.  Avoid any online vendors that charge you shipping per item since all your purchases will be shipped together.  The bulk of the shipping should be charged with the first item you order and rise gradually with each additional item.  Many vendors will just charge flat rate shipping or you may be able to find specials with free shipping.  Make sure you also read the fine print to understand all their charges.  You don't want to be surprised by any processing charges or other extra fees.

When buying Italian food online it is also important to look at the company's return policy.  A vendor should be willing to take back any food that is spoiled or ruined upon delivery.  Italian food depends on fresh ingredients and online shopping is a great way to get not only the ingredients, but whole Italian food dishes already prepared.  Just make sure you don't get stuck paying for Italian food that isn't fresh.  These days online Italian food companies have mastered shipping fresh food to make sure it arrives fresh at your doorstep.

Demand the best from the vendors you deal with.  If you haven't already, take the plunge and try buying Italian food online.  You might discover a new favorite, or experience another side of Italian food without having to go out to a fancy Italian food restaurant.  

Cheap Italian Food in Milan

One of the highlights of traveling to Italy is naturally the Italian food.  Milan in particular is a fashion and food capital of the world.  With so many choices for good quality Italian food it can be hard to decide where to eat at times.  Travelers are also frequently overwhelmed with how much there is to do in Milan or may only be in the city for a few days.  The food here can also be very expensive and not for the budget conscious traveler.  However, there must be an alternative to the ever ubiquitous McDonald's?  Surely there is a way to eat cheap Italian food in Milan?  Time and budget constraints often prevent tourists from enjoying good Italian food, but that need not be the case in Milan.

Milan is home to yet another Italian food innovation.  It is quite simply known as Ciao.  Ciao is a fast Italian food restaurant that serves up fresh Italian food made on the spot with a friendly price tag.  Unlike American fast food chains, Ciao serves quality Italian food.  For those a little leery of anyplace claiming to have quality Italian food fast, let me point out that there is not set menu at Ciao.  The menu changes daily in order to provide the freshest Italian food that is in season.  Ciao serves all manner of hot Italian foods along with snacks, alcohol, and espresso.  It's a self service restaurant so you just fill up your plate and then pay at the register.  With the low price tag Ciao also presents tourists with an opportunity to try different Italian foods without worrying about the money should you not like it.  

Another great feature of Ciao that endears it to American tourists is the fact that it is open all day.  Ciao is one of the only options for Italian food after lunch and before dinner.  In Italy many of the Italian food establishments close between meals leaving only the American fast food imports open.  If you're a tourist and visiting Milan for the first time, then it can be hard to fit everything into your schedule and get meal times in when most of the restaurants are open.  Plus, many people don't want to spend the time it takes to eat at a typical Italian food restaurant, choosing to instead see the sites.  It's a real shame that people save up for vacations to Italy and end up eating at McDonald's because of lack of time or money.  

Many people don't know a place like Ciao exists before they leave home so take this opportunity to plan it into your Italian vacation now.  In fact, you won't even have to stop looking at the sites while eating quality Italian food at Ciao.  Be sure to check out the Ciao outlet at Piazza Duomo.  Get your food and head over to the third floor of the Duomo Center and grab a table.  The view from this vantage point is simply amazing and will provide a nice backdrop to your meal.  Italian food doesn't have to be expensive when in Milan and you don't have to carve large blocks of time out of your vacation in order to experience fresh Italian food, just go to the nearest Ciao and soon you will be dining on quality Italian food in the heart of Milan.    

Friuli-Venezia Giulia Italian Food

Italian food varies greatly throughout Italy and pairing down Italian food to just the fifteen or so dishes that can be found at Italian food restaurants in the United States is very short sighted.  There are many different regional cuisines in Italy that take their cues from surrounding countries and mix in a little local creativity in order to produce their own unique Italian food.  One great example of this is the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region.

This region shares a border with the former Yugoslavia and shares a lot of the same traditions, including culinary traditions.  The Italian food here is strong with Austrian, Hungarian, Slovenian, and Croatian influences.  One of places that this is most apparent is in the beer halls of the area.  Here they feature such dishes as Viennese sausage and goulash.  Goulash, which originated as a Hungarian dish, has taken on a distinct Italian taste here and can often be found in fine Italian food restaurants both in and out of Italy.  Goulash is immensely popular in this region and is a thick stew of beef and local vegetables such as onions and red peppers.  It is very thick and seasoned with paprika and can be served with pasta.  Another dish that makes a frequent appearance at the beer halls in this area is Bohemian hare.  

The most often used meat in this area is pork.  In fact, if visiting this area it is essential to try one of their world famous San Daniele del Friuli hams.  These hams are a staple of the local Italian food.  The whole region is known for their bacon and sausages.  In fact there is a local dish called jota that is unique to the region and is a stew dish made with beans and bacon.  The pork in this area is spicy and this may come as a bit of a shock to foreigners not familiar with this brand of Italian food.  The pork is often cooked over an open hearth and is seen in many dishes even if it is not the main entrée.

There are many other foods specific to the area.  The sweeter side of the Italian food here includes strudel.  Most of the desserts here are flour based and so strudel is very common.  One of the most common dishes found in the area is polenta.  This is a dish of boiled cornmeal and is a staple of the regional diet and can be found served with all types of Italian food including both meat and cheese dishes.  It is most similar to American grits.  Another Italian food staple that must be mentioned in this region is the cheese.  The world famous Montasio cheese comes from this region.  If you like your Italian food with lots of cheese, and not just mozzarella, than this is the region for you.  One last dish that must be mentioned is brovada.  This is a dish that is unique to the region.  It is most simply turnips that are preserved in marc.  This most certainly is not a dish that most people think of when thinking about Italian food, but it is a dish that is unique to Italy and is therefore an important part of Italian food.  So the next time you're up for some Italian food, branch out and try some different regional cuisines. 

Holiday Italian Food

Have you ever wanted to celebrate the holidays with Italian food?  Maybe you want to try something different this year and love Italian food, or maybe you've been invited to spend the holidays with Italian friends or are fortunate enough to actually be spending the holidays in Italy.  What Italian food is appropriate and traditional?  Well, like many other cultures, Italians have certain food traditions for certain holidays.

The biggest tradition is with Christmas and it starts on Christmas Eve.  The traditional Christmas Eve meal doesn't include a lot of Italian food that foreigners may be familiar with.  That's because the Italians observe a type of symbolic fast which actually equates to more of a light dinner.  This means that there will be no Italian food that includes the typical meats.  Instead the Italian food will be centered more around seafood including fish, snails, and frogs.  That may sound a little more French than Italian, but it's a great time to experience some excellent traditional Italian food that is hard to find outside of Italy.  

The next day on Christmas the food may be a little more familiar.  The first course is a very well known Italian food, tortellini.  This pasta dish filled with meat is more in keeping with what most people envision when thinking of Italian food.  After the meal dessert consists of one of two types of cake, either panettone or pandoro.  If you're in Milan or spending the holidays with a family from Milan it will be panettone.  This cake like bread takes days to make and is an Italian food that not many people know of, despite it being a symbol of Milan.  The other traditional cake is pandoro, a sweet bread that is often made to look like a mountain complete with white sugar icing giving it a snowy finish.  Christmas is a great time to taste the sweeter side of Italian food.

Easter Sunday is another holiday that brings families around the table.  The holiday starts out with breakfast.  Not too many people think of breakfast when thinking of Italian food, but Easter Sunday starts off with a feast of salami and boiled eggs with cakes and pizzas all washed down with fine wine.  That night the Italian food of choice will be dishes that rely on lamb, avoiding other meats.  The evening will be finished off with wine and cakes.

The last holiday that has importance to those who love Italian food is St. Joseph's Day.  This holiday is in commemoration of St. Joseph saving Sicily from famine.  This holiday centers on a rather unknown Italian food, the fava bean.  It was this bean that saved Sicily from starving.  So, while this bean is not native to Italy, there are many Italian food dishes that are centered on it in celebration of St. Joseph's Day.  The day is spent giving food to the needy, eating doughnut like pastries and enjoying good Italian food.

Anytime is a good time for Italian food, but the holidays really make authentic Italian food shine as families get together to celebrate with traditional dishes.  Try celebrating the holidays with Italian food and you'll be introduced to a side of the cuisine that many don't know exist.  

 How to Eat Italian Food in Italy

If you want to get to the heart of Italian food, it's best to go the source.  For an authentic experience you don't just need to get into the country of Italy, you need to get into Italian homes where traditional Italian food was birthed.  That's right, if you want to get to the heart of the cuisine you need to go where it's cooked and served from the heart, in an actual Italian home.  

There are some differences to the layout of an Italian home cooked meal versus other cuisines that you'll want to be aware of.  First off, real Italian food is not meant just to bring sustenance; it exists to bring family and friends together.  An Italian meal is at least three to four courses and is not something to be rushed through.  Meals in general are longer in Italy because of the cultural view that meal times are not just about feeding the body, but about feeding the soul.

One of the most surprising things to foreigners about an Italian meal is the first course it typically the most filling.  There is an antipasti or appetizer course, but there is no salad or soup to ease your way into the meal.  Right from the antipasti diners delve into the primo or "first course".  This is the course that will look most familiar to foreigners because it is where that delicious pasta that Italian food is famous for is served.  This primo course is where most people's knowledge of Italian food ends.  Few people realize that there is much more to Italian food than just this primo pasta.

The next part of the meal is the secondo or "second course".  Here is the main dish.  Yes, that's right, the pasta that was just served in the primo, while filling, is not the main dish.  The second course is where you'll find the meat of the meal.  In the North there will most likely be veal, pork, or chicken.  In the South and coastal regions you're more likely to find freshly caught fish.  With this course will come a contorno or "side dish".  This is where you'll get a chance to get your daily vegetables in.  Traditionally this will come in the form of a fresh salad.

To end the meal diners get not one, but two desserts.  The first is a cheese and fruit course that will help prepare you for the dolce or main dessert.  The dolce will be the rich dessert of the evening, such as cake.  Of course, the meal will end with coffee or espresso, a classical capstone to the array of Italian food that has been served.  However, there is one last course to come that foreigners may not be so familiar with.  The last course is actually the digestive course and consists of liquors and is often referred to as the "coffee killer".  

After having an authentic dining experience as the one outlined above, foreigners will leave Italy with a much better grasp on what Italian food is.  There is more to this fine cuisine than pasta and pizzas.  In fact, by the time the "coffee killer" comes around the primo pasta course is starting to fade in memory, buried by the exciting meat dishes, fresh vegetables, fruits, cheeses, and coffees that have made Italian food one of the most sought after cuisines in Europe. 

 Italian Food on a Date

Want a romantic night out on the town?  A fine Italian food restaurant is a safe bet.  Italian food has always been romantic and here are some tips to picking a great restaurant.

It's important to pick a place that serves authentic Italian food; otherwise your date will come off looking like a cheap imitation of the real thing.  How do you know what's authentic?  Simply look at the menu; if you understand it, it's not authentic enough.  You're looking for more Italian food than just spaghetti and pizza.  You might also want to talk to some people who work at the restaurant.  When I'm looking for an authentic Italian food experience I definitely want the people behind the food to know more Italian than English.  If everyone there seems too American you can bet the food is going to be more American-Italian than authentic Italian food.  

Once you find a place with a good menu the next step is to learn to understand it.  You won't make a good impression on your date if you order something and are then shocked to find out what it is when it gets to the table.  Decide beforehand what you're going to order and learn how to properly say it in Italian.  Then, find out what Italian food your date likes and pick out some recommendations from the menu beforehand and learn how to say them.  When it comes time to order and you're reading off your selection from the menu like an Italian food connoisseur you'll really impress your date.

Now, Italian food isn't Italian without a good wine to go with it.  Any respectable Italian food establishment should have a nice selection of wine.  This is a must for your romantic date.  Research what wine will go best will the Italian food you're ordering.  Don't be scared to ask the server, that's what they're there for.  However, also be aware that they know it's easy to rack up your check with expensive wine.  Italian food was meant to be enjoyed with wine, so do take some time to make sure you're getting a good wine for both the food and you're budget.  

Now that the Italian food and wine are squared away, the next thing to look for in a restaurant is ambience.  There are really two ways to go on this one.  The first is with a more traditional fine dining restaurant with dimmed lighting and maybe some romantic music in the background.  This is an excellent choice.  However, sometimes the most authentic Italian food can be found at small family owned restaurants with more of a home feeling about them.  This can be equally as romantic as long as the restaurant isn't loud.  There you can enjoy not only good Italian food, but it will also be a memorable experience for your date.  If the restaurant doesn't have candles or a flower on the table you may be able to add that romantic touch by asking if you can bring your own candle and rose to decorate the table.  Your date will be really impressed with your initiative when your table is distinctly nicer than the others.  

Following these steps will lead to an excellent Italian food experience for you and your date.  Find the right restaurant and you're sure to have a romantic evening eating fine Italian food.     

   Italian Food on the Go

When most people think of having an Italian meal they think of sitting down at a restaurant and making a night of it.  There really isn't much of a fast option.  For most people quick Italian food means throwing some pasta in a pot and opening a jar of Prego, or worse, throwing a frozen meal in the microwave.  However, there is another way to experience fast Italian food and that is through Fazoli's.  

Fazoli's is a fast Italian food chain in the United States.  They are currently serving up Italian food in 400 locations throughout the United States.  Now it should be noted that I am using the term Italian food very loosely here.  This is a great choice for people who like traditional Americanized Italian food, but not such a good choice for Italian food connoisseurs looking for a fine meal.  The Italian food served here includes such classics as spaghetti and meatballs, fettuccine alfredo, lasagna, ravioli, pizza, subs, panini sandwiches, and salads.  Many people like to catch one of these classic Italian food dishes through the drive through, but these people are missing part of what makes Fazoli's so popular and that is the breadsticks.  If you dine inside a Fazoli's then you get unlimited free breadsticks.  This is Fazoli's trademark and has helped them become popular in the United States.

While Fazoli's is certainly not an option for quality Italian food, it is a good option to fill a craving for Italian food without having to go out to a restaurant and take up a good part of your night.  There are not many options today for fast Italian food and to many people the whole concept of Fazoli's strikes them as odd at first.  Fast food is generally seen as the domain of hamburgers and finger foods.  For this reason Fazoli's has not grown as fast or become as popular as other fast food chains.  If Fazoli's continues to grow and gain popularity then it may prompt others to start more quality fast Italian food chains.  Fast food chains are expanding to include healthy menu items and more quality food for the money.  So there may be more of a place for Fazoli's as the country expands its views on fast food in general.   

Fazoli's is cheap Italian food and you really do get what you pay for.  Right now the only other real option for fast Italian food is to prepare it yourself.  For some people making Italian food themselves defeats the purpose of fast Italian food so Fazoli's is a great option.  With all the different innovations happening in contemporary Italian food it's possible that in the future there may be multiple options for getting fast Italian food of a good quality.  In fact, in Italy there are already fast food restaurants that serve good quality Italian food.  But, like most things in the world of Italian food, we can expect for it to be awhile before these developments make it to this side of the ocean.  Until then we'll just have to make do with Fazoli's and resort to conventional restaurants to get fine Italian food.  

Learn to Cook Italian Food on Vacation

It used to be that vacations were all about site seeing and relaxing.  Well, not anymore.  Today the hottest trend in travel is taking courses to learn new things while on vacation.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the cooking classes that have sprung up all over the world specifically for tourists.  Many people travel to Italy on vacation in order to enjoy Italian food.  Now though, many people not only want to enjoy Italian food while away, they want to learn how to cook it.  Instead of bringing back souvenirs tourists are bringing back skills that they can put to use in their kitchens at home to whip up authentic Italian food.

If you like Italian food then you may want to consider taking some classes to learn how to cook Italian food while in Italy.  There are many resorts today that offer Italian food classes to their guests.  There are even whole vacation packages focused around learning how to cook Italian food.  You can take a tour through Italy and in each city or region that you stop in learn to make the local Italian food from the people who know it the best, the locals, not some tour guide or American teacher.  If you decide during your vacation that you would like to try out a cooking class then ask the concierge or front desk at your hotel.  They should be able to point you in the direction of some Italian food classes.  Often resorts will have their own world class Italian food restaurants and it's not uncommon for them to open their doors to travelers who want to learn to make a dish from the menu.  Be sure to ask the front desk at your resort about possible Italian food classes.  Resorts don't always advertise these classes because they often fill up just on word of mouth.

If you are feeling a little nervous about learning to cook Italian food on your vacation, relax.  The classes are typically very small so you'll be able to get one on one help.  This is truly a great opportunity to expand your knowledge of preparing Italian food from actual Italian chefs.  Don't worry if you don't know the first thing about cooking.  These classes are structured to accommodate people with little to no knowledge of Italian food or even cooking for that matter.  If you would like to take a more advanced or intermediate class then ask about those options as well, but the majority of classes will be for beginners.  These Italian food classes for vacationers will teach you how to make easy dishes that look more complicated than they actually are.  They're not going try and teach you something complicated that will only end up frustrating you.  They know that it can be intimidating learning to cook Italian food from professional chefs so they will keep things simple.  On the other hand, they also understand that you probably want to go home and impress your friends with an Italian food dish that seems really fancy, so they will teach you dishes with a certain "wow" factor.  

The next time you plan a vacation to Italy, try to step off the beaten path and learn how to cook some authentic Italian food.  The skills and memories you bring home will outlast any souvenir you could buy.  Vacationing in Italy is not just about enjoying Italian food; it's about bringing Italian food home with you. 

 Learn to Make Italian Food

Italian food has long been amongst the most popular food in the world.  Everyday people all over the world sit down to meals of fresh Italian food that tastes so good it's hard to imagine making it yourself.  However, there are some people who are up to the challenge of learning to make quality Italian food.  For some it is not just enough to enjoy Italian food, they need to create Italian food.  There are many options today for learning to cook Italian food.  Some people live in areas where there are no Italian food cooking classes.  Others may feel too self conscious in order to go to an Italian food class.  But there is an option for everyone that wants to learn to cook Italian food whether they want to become a world class chef or if they just want to not be intimidated by a pot of boiling water and a handful of spaghetti.  The great thing about Italian food is that it has great dishes that are simple to make for the beginner and complex dishes that take world class chefs years to master.  There really is something for everyone.

The first option to learn to cook Italian food is cooking classes or cooking school.  If you want to become a professional Italian food chef then you will want to attend an accredited cooking school.  There are many different culinary institutes in the United States and around the world that can help you specialize in Italian food.  Research the different options and decide which will be best for you and will help you meet your goals.  Some things to consider are tuition and location.  You can attend school abroad or in your local area.  If you want to start work right away after graduation at an Italian food restaurant, then see what kind of help the different schools give in job placement after graduation.

Going to school to become a professional Italian food chef is very challenging but in the end it is extremely rewarding to know that you can craft some of the finest Italian food in the world.  For those not wanting to necessarily become professionals, you can look into local cooking schools or community centers that offer lessons in cooking Italian food.  You can learn to make specific regional Italian food or just take a few classes to teach you how to cook a meal for a special occasion to impress friends or family.  

Another great option in today's world is to learn how to cook Italian food right from home.  Today it is possible to take classes in cooking Italian food off of the internet.  This is a great option for people who are self conscious or like to take things at their own speed in a comfortable environment.  There are both paid and free cooking classes online that can help you with your Italian food skills.  Research the different programs available and see what is right for you.  Be sure to also check out reviews of online programs and see if previous students feel that they really learned how to cook Italian food from the course.

You can never be too careful online, but once you find a school that you like that has good reviews, don't hesitate to jump right in.  Before long you'll cooking up fabulous Italian food dishes that previously seemed impossible. 







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