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This is the searchable online international food dictionary with 67,413 terms in 307 languages plus 42,027 plurals.

Just type in the word that you're looking for and press enter or click on search. There are other types of search; see search help for more information.

The database behind this site was the loving creation of Suzy Oakes, who has since passed away. She is greatly missed. You can see her obituary in the Guardian

A cookbook, featuring Suzy's favourite recipies, is available. People who are interested should contact Mun Flint. Currently, the cost is £12.50 plus postage and packing. All proceeds go to the Suzy Oakes Trust for Mill Road.

Picture of cover of recipe book

Italian food and cuisine

The regions of Italy produce foods which differ enormously. It is a purely regional cuisine.

Frequently, the foreigner’s view of Italian cuisine is that it consists of pasta, such as spaghetti Bolognese, and pizza, with one or two well-known meat dishes, such as osso buco or bistecca (alla) fiorentina, thrown in, perhaps with bruschetta to start with. In Italy you will find ‘international restaurants’. These are not restaurants serving foods from around the world but restaurants catering for the tastes of foreigners. These will serve the commonly accepted famous dishes of Italy without regard to the regional nature of the cuisine.

Most cooking in restaurants is both regionally and seasonally based. In the north you are more likely to be served dishes which involve dairy produce, using butter rather than oil, often cream or mascarpone cheese. In the south these will be replaced with olive oil. Tuscany lurks on the border of this decision and produces so much high quality oil that it is used in place of dairy foods. It also uses white butter beans in soups, stews and salads. Naples and Sicily are renowned for their fish and their pizzas, Emilia-Romagna for a wonderful cuisine but particularly its stuffed pastas. Emilia-Romagna is also the home of Parma ham and Parmesan cheese. Genoa in Liguria is rightly famous for pesto, Rome for unweaned, milk-fed lamb (abbacchio) and Lombardy for bresaola. And so it goes on. We recommend that you click on the region of interest under 'See places' below to help you to find out about local foods and dishes.

In the north, the proximity of the French border has some influence on the cooking, though it is thought that actually it was cooks from the north of Italy travelling into France who created the basis of their great cuisine. Perhaps it was the influence of Italy on France rather than the other way round.

So far, I have made some 9,900 entries in Italian, but you can bet that the item you are searching for is not among them. If this is the case, please e-mail and I will try to respond with the information you need.

Italian food and cuisine
Map of Italy, showing regions, with many thanks to by Tourizm Maps &Copy; 2006

Ethnicity: Italian

See places: Italian food and cuisine, Abruzzo, Molise, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardy, Marche, Piedmont, Puglia, Trentino-Alto Adige, Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto, Valle d'Aosta

See foods and dishes: abbacchio, antipasta, Asiago d'Allevo, bagna cauda, Bel Paese, bistecca fiorentina, alla bolognese, bresaola, brodo, bruschetta, mascarpone, pesto, osso buco, prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano, spaghetti

Feel free to e-mail us if you have any comments, but be aware that the database is just being maintained, not updated.

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