What Makes Authentic Italian Food, Authentic?

The appetite for authentic Italian food in the U.S. is monumental and steeped in history. In fact, chefs at all levels are continuously on the lookout for ingredients to help them curate authentic Italian foods that mimic the ones served on the tables in households and cafes across Italy. Flora Foods has taken the lead as America’s brand helping cooks on this side of the world achieve their goals of creating delicious and authentic Italian meals by making the best Italian ingredients accessible and affordable.

 

The Storied History of Authentic Italian Food In America

 

The Flora Foods Go-to Source – John Flora arrived in America as a young boy and spent the rest of his youth learning English in the predominantly Italian neighborhood of Bensonhurst in Brooklyn, New York. As an adult, he always came back to one thing – keeping authentic Italian food available for American families. This passion began in a pizza parlor and permeated out into the communities of New York City. From there, Flora built an organization that shared his vision and dream of keeping authentic Italian food accessible to Americans seeking it.

 

The Ingredients Chefs Seek – Chefs in-the-know have a secret. They understand that every single ingredient must be top quality to make the whole recipe dazzle. And, if it’s Italian food on the menu, authentic Italian food ingredients make or break the mouth-watering factor of each plate that’s served.

 

  • It’s more than just pasta. For those of us on this side of the pond, authentic Italian food may conjure up images of bowls of pasta first and foremost. Of course, pasta is a foundational ingredient of the Italian culinary scene, but there’s much more to savor. Lamb shanks, traditional Italian pesto and tomato sauces, Eggplant-based dishes and lentil or bean soups only scratch the surface of authentic Italian foods that don’t bring pasta to the fork. 
  • Authentic Italian food starts with the label. Truly authentic Italian foods are not as easy to find as one might think. Not all olive oils, canned tomatoes and olives are created equal. Look for certifications and seals of authenticity on the Italian foods you seek for your entrees. Certifications, like the DOP, or Protected Designation of Origin, can help you confirm that your Italian food choice is actually from the region of Italy where it originates. This certification applies to products from balsamic vinegar to basil to Italian tomatoes.
  • Italian favorites that aren’t actually Italian. Authentic or not, these dishes are delish, but just for fun, let’s keep it real.

 

An American Standard, Not Italiano. – Spaghetti and meatballs is comfort food at its delicious finest, but in Italy, meatballs are eaten separately from the pasta. But, who cares?

Cheesy Garlic Bread, Not So Much. – Italians love bread, and bruschetta is the closest authentic Italian food to our rendition of garlic bread (with or without cheese). It’s not so authentic, but oh-so-good.

Pizza pockets, No Sauce Included. – The calzones filled with red sauce, cheeses and meats are an American twist on the authentic Italian food that originates from Naples, where they’ll be loaded up cheese or meat and sauce is served for dipping only.

 

Flora Fine Foods was based on the vision of making authentic Italian foods available to American households, easily and affordably. John Flora started his business many decades ago after realizing the deep connection and love that exists for Italian food. Like any true foodie, he knew, it all begins with authentic ingredients. Flora Foods specializes in a wide range of authentic Italian foods from pastas to olive oils to sauces and much, much more. Stop by our website for an online store that includes recipes, cooking tips and all things authentically-Italian.

 

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