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talian cuisine has evolved extensively over the centuries. Although the country known as Italy today had not officially formed until the 19th century, the cuisine can claim roots going back as far as 4th century BC. Through various influences throughout the centuries including neighboring regions, conquerors, high-profile chefs, political upheavals as well as the discovery of the New World, a concrete cuisine evolved to become one of the premiere cuisines in the world.
Each area has its own specialties of which they are proud, primarily at the regional level, but also at the provincial level. These regional variances can come from the influence of a bordering country (such as France or Austria), proximity to the sea or mountains, as well as economic progress. Italian cuisine is not only highly regional, but also distinguished by being very seasonal, with high priority placed on the use of fresh, seasonal produce.
The cuisine of L'Osteria del Forno takes root in the Northern part of Italy: Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria, Valled'Aoste, Trentino Alto Adige, Fruiuli, Venezia, Giulia and Piemonte.
Lombardy: Rice is a popular ingredient in Lombardy. It is often found in soups (like our Minestra di Verdura) as well as risotto. Cheese is a popular course. Single-pot dishes, which are less labor intensive to create, are popular here with the working class. In the areas of Bergamo, Brescia, and Valtellina polenta is a favorite and is another dish that can be found on our menu. In Mantua, village festivals feature ravioli di zucca (ravioli with pumpkin filling) accompanied by melted butter. This dish is one that is very famous at L'Osteria del Forno. The area has a valuable legacy of gastronomic traditions: meat and salami, like Bresaola.
Emilia-Romagna: Emilia-Romagna is well known for its cured hams and mortadella which are popular charcuterie items of the region. Parmesan cheese proliferates the cuisine. Different meats, including game, can be found here. Pasta is quite popular in the region. Many gastronomic specialties, such as balsamic vinegar and Parmigiano Reggiano (a product L'Osteria del Forno is proud to import), originated here.
Umbria: Most of the dishes of Umbria are prepared with the simple techniques of boiling and roasting, with the addition of local olive oil and herbs for flavor (try our Roasted Pork Braised in Milk and Herbs). Vegetable dishes are more popular in the spring and summer when in season, while the fall and winter introduce meats from the hunting season and black truffles from Norcia. Our menu features Bresaola with porcini mushrooms and white truffle oil. Sausage making is also very popular in this region. You will also find Italian sausage in our Salsiccia Pizza and in our Special Polenta.
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