Benvenuti to the Barilla Test Kitchen!This summer we presented a seminar at the Flavor Experience conference in Newport Beach, CA called “Not Your Nonna’s Italian” – about using authentic, regional Italian cuisine to stay modern and relevant with today’s consumer. Regional Italian cuisines hold a wealth of new ideas for American menus, which have been dominated for years by what I’d call Italian-American fare – largely adaptations of the southern Italian foods of the first wave of Italian immigrants to America.
Featured dish: Whole Grain Penne with Creamy Mushroom Ragout, Peas, Parmigiano
Regional Italian food in general is a great fit with what today’s consumers are looking for, as it:
- Is fresh, local and seasonal by nature
- Offers a full range, from healthy to indulgent
- Is often vegetarian, or just less meat-centric
- Commonly features alternative proteins, from fish to lamb
- Can be spicy, especially from certain regions
Let’s take a look at one of my favorite regions that’s lesser known, Trentino Alto Adige.
Regional Spotlight: Trentino
- Located in northeast Italy, in the Dolomite Alps
- Strong Tyrolean influence, an ancient alpine culture straddling today’s Austrian and Italian borders
- Mix of central European and Venetian cuisines
- Favored ingredients include forest mushrooms, cow’s milk cheeses, sausages
- Harsh winters led to use of whole grains, fermented vegetables, smoked meats, stale bread gnocchi (canerderli)
For more on Trentino Alto Adige, click here.
Lorenzo Boni, Executive Chef, Barilla America