On trend: Regional Italian

From Barilla.

Americans have loved Italian cuisine since the first pizza makers and pasta aficionados arrived here, and they continue to adore it; Italian food retained its #1 spot among Americans’ favorite ethnic foods in 2012. Even better, a recent trend report commissioned by Barilla and conducted by Mintel found that most consumers (56%) want to see more, and more varied, Italian dishes. The key is authenticity – sophisticated diners seek regional dishes that go beyond the generic.“Italian food is at its core a fresh, local cuisine,” says Lorenzo Boni, Corporate Chef for Barilla America. “Ingredients that grow or are raised in an area will be found on the plate.” Italy is a collection of 20 regions, though those can be grouped into Northern, Central and Southern, each of which vary in climate, culture, and cuisine – and each reliant and enlivened by the foods grown there.  Here, a look at regional ingredients found in the Northern, Central, and Southern areas of Italy:

North

Fresh egg pastas, polenta and rice, dairy products, pork sausages and cured hams, mushrooms, porcini and truffles.

Central

Semolina (wheat) pastas, lentils, chickpeas, aromatic herbs, tomatoes, beef, pork and lamb.

South

Semolina (wheat) pastas, tomatoes, peppers, spicy peperoncini, olives and olive oil, garlic, legumes, artichokes, oranges, bergamot and citron, eggplant, and capers.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
pizza toppings

When the FoodService Director editors first started tossing around the idea of an “influencers” issue, our minds immediately turned to, well, foodservice directors. After all, so much of the learning in this industry is a peer-to-peer experience, and it’s your influence that inspires the content in every single issue of this magazine.

Then we imagined the massive infighting that would occur if we tried to whittle ourselves down to a list of just 20 influential operators and thought better of it. There’s already enough arguing for us to do about which pizza toppings are best (...

Ideas and Innovation
granola bars

Where possible, we make grab-and-go items reimbursable. For example, if we’re serving a fruit and milk smoothie, we let students take a granola bar or other grain component to make it count as a meal.

Ideas and Innovation
unsung heroes graphic

Febin Bellamy, a senior at Georgetown University, is the founder of Unsung Heroes, a nonprofit that features service workers on college campuses in man-on-the-street-style Facebook interviews. This year, Bellamy is working with a dozen schools to launch their own chapters of the storytelling platform. Here’s what he’s learned about staff shoutouts.

Q: Why did you decide to start Unsung Heroes?

A: One day I started a conversation with a custodial worker in the business school that I would see all the time. I learned that we had a lot of similarities; for instance, we both wanted to...

Ideas and Innovation
bolognese sauce

We’re trying to bring scratch cooking to all the elementary schools, but we’re taking it dish by dish. Right now, we satellite a lot of the dishes out. This month we made a Bolognese from scratch, and went to each of the schools to talk to them about the process and see if they could implement it. It helps us find out the hurdles and what they are going to need to make it work.

FSD Resources