Italian Restaurant Near Me
As one of the most popular ethnic foods in America, Italian food has become a staple in the diets of many citizens from coast to coast. In fact, Italian food is so popular in the US, that some food authorities have become concerned with the advent of “Italian sounding” or “fake Italian food.” Luckily, these restaurants are far and few between. If you’re looking for authentic Italian food, you’ll never find a shortage of options!
Are you interested in finding an Italian restaurant in your neighborhood? Simply browse Italian restaurant near me on the map below and find a list of Italian restaurants located near you. Fancy a bit more information on Italian food? Read on for facts, trivia, and a list of the top three Italian restaurants in the US!
Italian Restaurant Near Me – Find it on the Map
Italian Restaurant Near Me – Italian Restaurant Trivia
When did Italian cuisine emerge in the US?
The trend toward Italian food in the United States all started in the late nineteenth century when many Italian immigrants began to build their families and homes in American cities on the east coast. Waves of immigrants from Italy continuously passed through Ellis Island in New York City. Eventually, these immigrants traveled west and even South, all while retaining their cultural identity through cooking. Like in many cultures, the very act of cooking a meal in Italian culture is an act of love and tradition. Families passed down recipes from generation to generation, holding onto their roots and cultural heritage through cooking and sharing their culinary talents. If you’re searching Italian restaurant near me, you’ll likely find many family owned Italian restaurants. In this culture, family is everything, especially when it comes to those sacred family recipes that first emerged centuries prior when their relatives left the homeland to start a new life in America.
What is one of the earliest Italian dishes prominent in the United States.
Still extremely popular today, one of the earliest dishes attributed to an Italian is chicken tetrazzini. This dish is believed to have started in the early 1900s in honor of Luisa Tetrazzini. Luisa was an operatic soprano singer known as Florentine Nightingale. The dish consisted of thin spaghetti or linguini, diced poultry or seafood, mushrooms, onion, and a butter cream parmesan cheese sauce. The dish was reportedly an instant hit with American diners and quickly gained widespread popularity amongst those delighting in Italian cuisine. Another early Italian dish that found prominence in the states is the famous Muffuletta sandwich that is native to New Orleans. The dish is named after the popular muffuletta rolls that are baked in Sicily to this day. Created by Sicilian workers in 1906, this sandwich is still a staple in the American south where citizens of every class enjoy it’s savory deliciousness. Back east, the Philly Cheese Steak is also credited with being invented by an Italian. This sandwich consists of thinly sliced beef, cheese, onions (and sometimes peppers), on a crusty submarine style roll. People still flock to Philadelphia, PA from all over the country just to get an authentic taste of this Philly staple. While searching Italian restaurant near me, consider just how your area may be regionally influenced by Italian heritage. Maybe the dishes prominent in your area differ from those in another? Food for thought as they say!
Italian Restaurant Near Me – Italian Restaurant Facts
To Al Dente or Not To Al Dente
One point of contention that often comes up when discussing Italian food or searching Italian restaurant near me is the doneness of pasta. Authentic Italian food is often cooked Al Dente (with a bit of bite in the middle), whereas many American cooks will often cook their pasta past the point of Al Dente. To real Italian chefs, overcooked pasta is the ultimate sin! So how does one check for Al Dente pasta? It’s simple. According to some Italian cooks, it’s as easy as slapping some pasta against the wall. If it sticks, it’s done perfectly and ready to be eaten. Sure, throwing pasta around the kitchen may seem a bit ill advised, but this trick has been handed down for centuries. For the tidy chef, there’s an easier way. Follow the exact time frame given on the package of pasta. Set a timer to make sure that you don’t go past the point of Al dente into the territory of overcooked or even worse…mushy! Another tip, make sure your water is at a rapid boil prior to throwing the water in. Putting the pasta in before the water comes to a boil can lead to overcooked and soggy pasta.
If you’ve been to a grocery store or Italian restaurant lately, you probably know that there are dozens of pasta shapes to choose from. The question is, does pasta shape really even matter? Aren’t all pastas created equal? The answer is… yes and no. Authentic Italian chefs will advise against combining the wrong pasta shape with the wrong kind of sauce. Some pastas simply hold certain kinds of sauce better than others. Spaghettis and long thin pastas are versatile and great with marinara and red sauces. Linguini is great with cream sauces as are pastas such as penne and farfalle. Small tubular pastas work great in dishes containing chunks of ingredients such as beans or veggies as they don’t interfere with the shape or texture of the dish itself. While most pastas do taste almost identical (unless prepared with ingredients such as rosemary or sun dried tomatoes), it’s the texture and shape with certain types of sauce or dishes that can create an issue. Of course, if you’re searching Italian restaurant near me, you can rest assured that chef preparing your dish is already well aware of the pasta/sauce combo that works best for your particular dish. If you’re cooking at home, you probably don’t have to worry as much as what pleases you and your family is typically what matters most. In other words, pasta shape does matter, but it’s certainly not the end of the world or a killer of certain dishes.