The Best Italian Food Options in Montreal

Trying to find the best Bello Deli Italian food options in any major city is not always easy. After all, Italian food is diverse: each region of the country is known for one or two specialties.  Therefore, you would probably be better off learning which region your favorite dish is from and then finding the restaurant that specializes in that cuisine.

As such, here some of the most popular dishes you will find throughout regional Italian cuisine.

Italian Food

NORTHERN ITALIAN CUISINE

Characterized by a minimal use of olive oil, pasta, and tomato sauce, food from the Northern parts of Italy rely more on butter (or lard), rice, corn (ie polenta), and cheese from cream-based sauces.  Yes, it is almost more French-like in structure, but with Italian influence, which makes this cuisine all the more exotic.  Of course, this is still Italy so they do use pasta in the North, but it is in smaller amounts as the people here favor risotto and polenta.  In addition, dishes here tend to feature wild game (inland) and fresh seafood and shellfish (coastal).

CENTRAL ITALIAN CUISINE

To most people “Italian food” refers to the cuisine that hails from this region.  Central Italian cuisine is characterized by pasta and sauces tradition regarded as favorites across the world.  Obviously, then, this includes savory meat dishes, olive oils, cured meats, and rich sauces everyone knows and loves.  This includes stuffed pasta like tortellini and ravioli as well as the “king-of-all-cheeses” Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Like other regions of Italy, food here is locally sourced, featuring fresh produce and wild game as well as fine olive oils and wines.

SOUTHERN ITALIAN CUISINE

While most of the world’s favorite Italian dishes originated in the country’s Central region, Southern Italian cuisine has also made some marks on the collective international pallet.  After this all region is home to Campania, which is where we get our modern idea of the pizza. However, the region is also home to rich and spicy tomato sauces as well as vivacious citrus fruits and the best olive (and olive oils) in the world.  As a coastal region, too, you can expect that much of the cuisine features seafood-based dishes.

Of course, you also need to remember that within each of these very general regions are even smaller, and more intimate, communities where the specialties become even more intricate and specialized.  If you are taking a food tour of Italy, be sure to make several stops in each of these three regions to get a more thorough (and delicious) experience.

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