What do Italians eat as staple food?

As the lockdown is continued, the domestic help is not available and we are our own to prepare the daily food. Although the restaurants are allowed to serve delivery orders, I have decided not to indulge for some more time. This gives rise to the discussion about "what is it for tomorrow's meal?" - which is very common, even otherwise. However, now that we are not ordering from restaurants, we are tempted to try out different cuisines (that's common now-a-days).

During one such discussion, Italian cuisine popped up. We have tried our hands on preparing Pizza (using readymade base) and it worked out pretty well. Next one is Pasta, which is an easy affair, but it hasn't seen the light of the day as yet. While discussing all this, suddenly a question popped up..

"What do Italians eat routinely?"



Do they eat Pizza and Pasta as daily meals or there are other items which are far more common that Pizza and Pasta? If you have been to Italian restaurant, you would have known about Risotto and Lasagne and may be couple more. But I never had delved into thinking about their staple food. 

It took me a while to find right information about the food that Italians eat commonly. Most of the articles were about Italian recipes without talking about the piece of info I was looking for. Then I bumped onto a question on Quora - "Is Pizza a staple food for Italians?". While this answered from Pizza perspective, that question still didn't answer what is the staple food.

Finally, found a very good link

Some of the common items are:
  • Pasta
  • Crostini
  • Soup
  • Rice and Rice dishes (Arancini, Risotto)
  • Lots of variety of bread
  • Variety of meat and fish dishes
  • Spaghetti
  • Contorno (Vegetables)
Important thing to note is they eat several times but have smaller portions. Pizza is typically a weekend item and that too with less toppings. 

If you are looking for the complete list of Italian items, Wikipedia has it all. See for yourself!!

Many-a-times a cuisine gets misrepresented in the outer world and I think Italian cuisine is a good example of that. At least here in India, we know only a handful list of Italian items dominated by Pizza and Pasta. Rest is little known. But at least now, you know a bit more about Italian food, isn't it?

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