Italy is famous for many things—in particular, its delicious food! If you are thinking about studying abroad in Italy, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to learn how to cook like an Italian!
Living “la dolce vita” (the sweet life) is something you can learn how to do while you study abroad in Rome, and if you love cooking and food, part of your study abroad experience can involve learning to cook authentic Italian recipes. There are certain techniques and tricks that are necessary, but adopting the correct habits and understanding food traditions will go a long way!
Cooking Italian-Style Starts With Picking the Right Ingredients
First off, you’ll need ingredients that are fresh and distinct to the way Italians make food. Understand what kinds of meats or fish you’re working with, and what vegetables to use that will make your meal the most authentic it can be. Additionally, be sure that the ingredients you buy are right for the season, and understand which products are freshest at which time of the year. To do this, ask your Italian classmates when you study abroad at John Cabot University or visit a local market and take note of what you see available at the different stands—you might even try practicing your Italian by speaking with the vendors.
Learn the Best Techniques for Making Classic Italian Foods
Whether it’s how to cut vegetables correctly, or making an authentic risotto, make sure you understand the tips and tricks to cook food like an Italian. For example, use extra virgin olive oil for your bread and for dressing tomatoes. Also, it’s good to remember certain tricks for making food the Italian way: if you’re roasting a chicken, make a stock for risotto using the chicken’s carcass. It’s also important to try developing an instinct for cooking intuitively. This is the case if you’re making pasta, as the ratio of one egg to 100g of flour can vary if the egg is over sized or if the flour is too moist. Also, simplicity is the name of the game with Italian cooking, so let the ingredients speak for themselves and get a chance to shine, even if there’s only a few.
Adopt Italian Traditions and Habits
If you want to feel like a proper Italian while you’re earning credits toward your bachelor degree in Rome, be sure to incorporate certain food and drink traditions into your cooking habits while you’re in Italy. Buy lots of fresh, delicious bread at a local bakery, and start your day and finish your suppers with a cup of espresso. Also, while beef is popular in certain parts of Northern Italy, Italians are particularly known for their consumption of fish, chicken, and pork. Therefore, you can make an effort to cook meals around these foods.
Understand How to Make the Best Pasta and Risotto
It’s very much worth learning how to make pasta while studying at a university in Italy, whether it’s at home or as part of a cooking class. For one, you may have heard of the old-school trick to reserve some of the cooking water when straining pasta in a colander, so you can then add it to the sauce so that it glues more to the pasta.
Cooking pasta like a true Italian involves cooking with fresh egg pasta (pasta all’uovo) if you want it soft, while dried pasta is typically best for soups. You’d also do well to learn how to make an authentic Italian risotto during your time in Rome, and you can do this by using carnaroli rice, dry white wine, and a homemade stock you slowly add into the mix after simmering it, before later adding parmesan and butter!
Do you want to attend English speaking universities in Italy?
Contact John Cabot University for more information!