We come from the region around Rome called La Ciociaria but since our family originated from the North-West of the country we also had the benefit of their traditions as well. Everyone knows that Italy is famous the world round for its spaghetti sauces and it is the latitudes in Italy generally determine the types of ingredients used with the meals. I will not go into preparing the Tomato Sauces in this article, so for that information see my other article “Spaghetti With Chicken” also with Triond.In Northern Italy it is colder of course and therefore the food that is cooked has a higher meat content. This has the effect of helping to warm the insides and keep them warm for a longer period, plus providing much needed protein. The basic tomato sauce is loaded with diced solid meats, and the meat is slowly cooked along with the sauce so that the meat flavour is imbued right through the spaghetti sauce. The hot sauce then warms up the cold insides of Northern Italians and the meat fills and keeps them warm.
As we move further south of course the temperature warms up a little and the type of spaghetti sauce changes slightly as well. Most people have heard of Spaghetti Bolognese as this is one of the most famous Italian meals. The adjective, ‘Bolognese’ describes someone or something from the province and city of Bologna in Central Italy. In this case the spaghetti sauce is characterized by basic tomato imbued with ground beef because of the warmer climate the people of the region didn’t need such heavy food.
Naples is synonymous with Italy and Italian foods. Most people who like to eat Italian foods will be familiar with the Napolitano style of Pizza, which consists of plain tomato salsa and not much else. This is the basic Napolitano. Of course the Napolitani being in a much warmer climate developed their own type of spaghetti sauce and it was called what else Spaghetti Napolitano, with simple tomato sauces imbued with olives and spices to taste.
Medical researchers have suggested that there is something about the Mediterranean diet which enhances health citing the longevity and agility of some Greek and Italian fishermen. I would tend to agree as I have seen first hand the benefits of the Mediterranean foods and diets. I cannot speak with authority about Greek foods but Italian food with it’s use of olive oil and garlic is also very healthy. In fact the roman army of antiquity used to issue their legionaires with garlic and olive oil with the monthly pay, as this ensured the continued health of their soldiers, enemy swords notwithstanding.