Italians and cooking go together like – well, who needs a comparison? In this article, Italian teacher Liz T. will show you 11 food blogs with delicious Italian recipes, each providing a plentiful helping of Italian culture…
Culture in the Kitchen
If you’re learning Italian, of course it helps to know the basics; vocabulary, grammar rules, and all of the technicalities involved with the language. But did you know that learning about the Italian culture will help you better understand the language?
Many students learning Italian go beyond their tutoring sessions and dig into the rich and beautiful culture that Italy has to offer. And what’s one of the best ways they indulge in this practice? Cooking! Food and gastronomy are two very important components of Italian culture.
To really gain a sense for Italian culture, we encourage you to try your hand at Italian cooking. Apart from this article, we recommend you do a little outside research on the customs of cooking and the typical dishes of each region in Italy. This will help you prepare for traveling abroad, as well as learning the language. Or, if you’re not looking to travel, learning recipes is a simple way to bring a little bit of Italy into your home!
We’d like to show you our list of wonderful Italian food blogs to help you learn and cook your favorite Italian meals. Let’s take a look!
This is a great website for recipes, tips in the kitchen, and info about Italian cooking schools. It even has a section on Italian tourism, including links for travel guides and tourism sites. Here’s an excerpt from the About section, written by the blog’s author, Deborah Mele:
The essence of Italian cooking today is simplicity. One uses the freshest seasonal ingredients possible, and then uses basic cooking techniques to simply enhance the natural flavor of the food. While living in Italy, I spent many hours each week browsing through the market stands overflowing with the vibrant colors of each season’s bounty. I learned to keep “an Italian kitchen” during this period, and to plan my daily menu only after visiting the local market or grocery to see what was fresh that day.
This is a great online (and physical) Italian cookbook. Once you see the pictures, you’ll want to start cooking these mouthwatering dishes pronto! The blog’s author, Silvia Colloca, writes this on her About Silvia page:
In Silvia’s Cucina, you are invited into my kitchen to share the unfussy, delicious recipes that have been passed down through my family for generations. My food is traditional, authentic, mostly simple, and embedded in it is the legacy of the hands of my mother and grandmother (those hands, always at work on some sauce or buried in dough!).
Since leaving Italy eight years ago, I’ve seen, of course, how much Italian food is loved around the world. But I’ve also come to understand that it is a cuisine that is perceived as rich and fatty, to be approached occasionally, and then with some caution. In Silvia’s Cucina, I am striving to change this misapprehension by showing how to cook everyday authentic, healthy Italian food.
3) Emiko Davies
International traveler and writer Emiko Davies shares firsthand about her experiences with food and wine in the region of Firenze. Here’s what Emiko says about herself in the About section:
I’m half Japanese, half Australian, but have spent two-thirds of my life living in other countries. After growing up in Beijing, China, and doing a Fine Art degree in Providence, Rhode Island, I ended up in Florence, Italy. There, I fell in love with a handsome local – now my husband, a sommelier and my ideal gastronomic partner in crime. In a battle over who gets to cook dinner he usually wins. And especially now that we have a little girl, I let him. We live in Tuscany.
This blog is a wonderful mix of recipes and personal experiences from the author, Judy. Her experiences are as heartfelt as they are joyous. She also gives private cooking tours around Italy! Here’s an excerpt from her About Judy section:
I had worked as a pastry chef in a 5 star hotel in San Francisco, but wanted to get out of the kitchen and start to teach. In 1984, I turned 30 and bought a one-way ticket to Europe, planning on spending one month in France and one month in Italy taking Italian lessons.
In France, I reconnected with old friends and possible places I could work, but when I arrived in Florence, I fell in love – first with the city, and then a year later with a Florentine. My first years here were spent learning the language and the cuisine. My first job cooking was as a pastry chef in a private restaurant in town. After 4 years, I finally felt ready to teach.
5) Mario Batali
Renowned chef Mario Batali shares his secret recipes with the exact ingredients and steps you need to emulate his food. His blog features great videos that walk you through the steps for cooking his delectable dishes. Here’s a little bit about Mario from his website’s About section:
Raised in Seattle, Mario attended high school in Madrid and studied the golden age of Spanish theater at Rutgers University. Soon after graduating, Mario enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu in London, his first formal culinary training. But after a few short months, he withdrew to apprentice with London’s legendary chef Marco Pierre White.
During three years of intense culinary training in the Northern Italian village of Borgo Capanne (population 200), Mario learned the essential skills to return to his native US eager to plant his orange-clad foot firmly on the checkered-tablecloth Italian restaurant establishment.
In this blog, author Tom Hyland talks about current trends in the Italian wine industry. It’s nice to read about Italian wines from the perspective of someone who has mastered the acquired taste of fine wines. Read a little more about Tom’s background from this excerpt on his blog:
I am a freelance wine writer and photographer specializing in the wines of Italy. I live in Chicago and recently completed my 64th trip to Italy. I have visited virutally every region in the country and am constantly amazed at the wonderful variety of wines produced from indigenous grapes (I am never amazed at the quality of the wines!). I have been in the wine business for 34 years, have been writing for 17 years and have been a professional photographer for the past eight years.
Traveling to Italy soon? Book a tour with this company to experience Italian food in a group setting in major Italian cities. They’ll make sure that your taste buds experience only the finest of Italian cuisines. Here’s a little more about Eating Italy from their About section:
We are giving people a taste of Rome they won’t soon forget by exposing them to real food, people and neighborhoods. Our mission is to leave travelers with an unparalleled, non-touristy, food-related experience in undiscovered neighborhoods of the most fascinating cities in the world.
This outstanding restaurant and market, with franchises in New York and Chicago, shares some very interesting “How To Italian Guides” on their online magazine. They feature authentic and delicious ready-to-make Italian dishes. You’ll enjoy this excerpt from the “How To Truffle” guide:
Ancient Romans believed that the truffle was created when lightning struck damp earth. Today, we know that the small tuber grows underground in the wild forests of northern and central Italy. Even so, modern Italians – and Eatalians – maintain the magic of the truffle, referring to the earthy and aromatic ingredient as “a fairy apple,” “a diamond of the kitchen,” and “the gem of poor lands.”
Famous Italian Chef Lidia Bastianich shares so graciously in her online journal some of her delicious Italian meals. She features everything from appetizers to desserts. It’s almost impossible to go wrong with Lidia’s meals! Learn a little more about Lidia from her website’s About section:
She is the chef/owner of four acclaimed New York City restaurants – Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto, as well as Lidia’s Pittsburgh and Lidia’s Kansas City – along with her daughter Tanya. She is also founder and president of Tavola Productions, an entertainment company that produces high quality broadcast productions. Lidia also has a line of pastas and all natural sauces called LIDIA’S.
Along with her son, Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali and Oscar Farinetti, the team opened Eataly, the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in New York City, Chicago and Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Everyone loves cooking with their nonna (grandmother)! Learn how to make your own Italian desserts, soups, and sides in this blog, Cooking with Nonna. They even have recipes for certain holidays, such as New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, and Easter. Here’s more about the blog from its About Us section:
With Cooking with Nonna, we would like to bring to the public yet another facet of the cooking experience. We believe that many of the most original recipes around the world are not necessarily held by the professional chefs that we find in the many restaurants around the world or in the now very popular celebrity cooking shows. After all, they learned their trade either from a culinary school or by working side by side with an established chef. In reality however, the ones that indeed hold the secrets to the most original recipes are our Nonne, our grandmothers.
11) Bobby Flay
This prestigious gourmet chef makes some hot and spicy Mediterranean dishes! Bobby’s recipes are easy to follow and mouthwatering to boot. In case you haven’t heard of the world-famous Bobby Flay, here’s more about him on his website’s About Bobby section:
Food is the epicenter of my life – what inspires me every day. It’s the way I make my living, the way I relax, the way I express myself, and how I keep healthy. I communicate with the world, and experience the world, through food. As such, this site is about more than just recipes: It’s a place to come for fitness tips, travel ideas, cooking techniques and behind-the-scenes videos – anything and everything about life in the kitchen, and beyond.
I hope this list of Italian food blogs will give you an idea of how you can explore Italian food and culture yourself! As always, if you’re looking to enhance your Italian language skills, schedule a lesson today with an instructor who matches your style and learning goals. Remember to always ask questions and research anything you’re confused about. Happy cooking and happy learning!
Did any of these food blogs wet your appetite? If so, leave a comment below with a recipe you think looks delicious!
Photo by theintlkitchen