News/Culture >> Browse Articles >> Food Writing


Why Is Italian Cooking So Popular?

Why Is Italian Cooking So Popular?

George Krumov | Chef's Blade

I have often wondered which cuisine is better — French or Italian. There is no question that Italian cuisine is more popular, but is it better?

I still don’t know the answer to this question, I guess it is up to each person’s taste. However, after visiting my favorite Italian store today for umpteenth time here in southwestern Ontario, I realized why Italian cooking is the most popular in the world.

It is the unique Italian products.

There is hardly a kitchen in the Western world that don’t use at least one Italian product or has an Italian menu item such as pizza, pasta, chicken Parmesan, lasagna, manicotti, ravioli and so on. Everybody has heard about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet and most of the products that are associated with it originate in Italy.

I can hear you saying that this is a bit of a stretch. Perhaps, perhaps! Below are some of my favorite Italian food products, so you can draw your own conclusion.

Sun-Dried Tomato

They are among my favorite Italian ingredients. I love the sun-dried tomatoes that have been marinated in olive oil, garlic and herbs. I use them for pizza, pasta, salads and dressings. If you buy the kind of sun-dried tomatoes that are sold dry, slice them and store them in oil.


The canned artichokes are good for pizzas, pastas, dips, antipasto platters and so on. If you want to try fresh artichokes, peel and slice them, than dip them in cold water, where you have added little lemon juice to prevent them from getting dark. Grease the fresh artichoke with oil, season and grill it over charcoal.

Bocconcini Cheese

This is the soft, unripened mozzarella cheese. It is sold in brine, in the form of little balls, from where the name comes. Bocconcini is very good for salads, panini, and original Italian pizzas.