Almost every person around the world is fond of seafood. If you’re a non-vegetarian then you should try out the sea foods listed in this article. The biggest advantage of sea foods is that they consist of proteins and they don’t have any calorie.
Crab: This is a delight for a seafood lover. You have many options when it comes to cooking a crab, you can either make a crab cake, steamed crab, soft-shell crab, deep fried crab and much more. It depends on your choice and your taste buds.
Shrimp: Shrimp is quite common among people who like to eat seafood. The biggest advantage in these sea foods is that you have a variety to eat. Pan-fried shrimp, shrimp cocktail, lemon shrimp, shrimp salad, etc. are some of the common ways of having shrimp. It is very easy to eat and it is highly accessible in all the coastal areas.
Clams: If you don’t like gooey food then you should avoid clams. You mainly get four options while eating clams, while cooking them you can either eat them raw, steamed, boiled or fried.
Squid: This is not available in every region but it can be a delight for the seafood lovers. Fried and grilled squids are really delicious with the marinara sauce. You can either cut them in rings or have the long legs. Both the options are delicious and it depends on the choice of the person having them.
Oysters: These sea creatures are completely different and they are mainly steamed or boiled. If you want to have them raw then you can pour vinegar and lemon on them and serve them on the plate. It is great for the immune system and doctors recommend them to the people suffering from arthritis.
There used to be a time not long ago, when in order to savor a bowl of impeccably prepared pasta, one had to travel all the way to Italy. Or else, one had to remain content with partaking macaroni pasta dish flavored with limited ingredients like cheese, meatballs, and tomato ketchup. Pasta, believed to have been prepared for the first time in Sicily around 1154, has come a long way since then. It is one of the staples of time-honored Italian cuisine that has readily evolved to become one of the must-have fares of any typical continental diet, either European or American.
Tracing the evolution of pasta
Pasta which literally stands for ‘paste’ or ‘dough’ is an Italian term used generically to represent all kinds of spaghetti, vermicelli, and noodles made in different sizes and shapes. The evolutionary trail of pasta from the most basic or primitive version to the modern-day varieties is a matter of intense debate. Many historians believe that Marco Polo introduced pasta to Italy, after having coming back from an extended trip to China where noodles were being consumed from 1st century AD.
Nevertheless, many archaeologists and historians have stumbled upon documentary and circumstantial evidence which proves that noodles in the form of ‘laganum’ (better known as lasagna) were being served by Roman cooks much before Marco Polo’s voyage. Though Sicily was the chief supplier of pasta in the medieval times, it started being produced on a large-scale, commercial basis in Italy with the introduction of extrusion machines that turned the durum wheat flour into fine, elongated strips.
Basic pasta types
Though pasta comes in near endless varieties each having a specific shape and size, all the different variations can be grouped under two broad kinds-‘pasta fresca’ (fresh pasta) and ‘pasta secca’ (dried pasta). Fresh pasta which is commercially prepared or homemade, usually from eggs and wheat flour is more popular in Northern Italy. On the other hand, dried pasta like cannelloni or ravioli, is prepared extensively in Southern Italy and is cheaper to make, compared to fresh pasta.
Right from the start, the making of pizzas tended to be largely commercial, as preparing the stuff at home requires specialized skills. Very few individuals were capable of kneading the durum wheat dough perfectly for baking in a clay oven where wood was used for lighting the fire and keeping it burning. Also, building a clay oven at home used to be an expensive affair in Naples or Rome, the two pizza hotspots in the medieval times.
As a result, pizzas, for the most part, were made in small food joints and sold directly from these outlets. As the preparation of pizzas become more fine-tuned with the introduction of machines and the addition of more ingredients, alfresco pizza stands became the most popular pizza disbursal joints. The first pizzeria, anywhere in the world, was established in Naples in 1830 which paved the way for the development of pizzeria chains in the US in the 20th century.
The first known pizzeria, Port Alba, can stake claim to popularizing the concept of a fast-food joint based exclusively around pizzas. Pizzas started becoming popular in the US towards the 2nd half of the 19th cent as the nation witnessed a massive influx of émigrés mainly from Southern Italy. In order to earn their daily bread, many of the immigrant Italians started selling pizzas along with other bakery products and groceries.
Gennaro Lombardi is believed to be the first Italian to open a pizzeria in New York City in 1905. Customers thronging to this pizzeria were mostly immigrants from Italy who were expecting to taste different varieties of pizza they were familiar with. Nevertheless, it was only after the end of WWII that GIs after having served in Italy, set upon rustling up varieties they had tasted in the Mediterranean country.
In due course, the Italian pizza which used to be embellished with mozzarella cheese, tomato slices, and herbs, was Americanized. The American pizza included large portions of beef, mutton, chicken or pork and of course generous dollops of cheese.
Your tongue starts salivating the moment you think about pizzas. Though pizzas are native to Italy, the delicious dish is popular throughout the world and feasted upon by millions every day. What is it about pizzas that make them so celebrated and feted upon? What goes into the making of a pizza? When was the first pizza rustled up? These are some of the questions that may have crossed your mind the last time you had a pizza.
Tracing the origin of pizzas
The humble flatbread, prepared from unleavened dough, is regarded as the earliest predecessor of the pizza. The origin of flatbreads can be traced back to the Neolithic age. However, it was the Egyptians who were the first to make bread from yeast and in due course of time, they added many ingredients to add to its deliciousness.
The pizza in its most primitive form was prepared out of wheat flour kneaded with olive oil and yeasted and thereafter flavored with toppings like cheese, dates, and herbs. The term ‘pizza’ was coined in circa 997AD, going by archived documents that mention Gaeta as the fare’s birthplace. Nevertheless, the modern version of the pizza that we’re familiar with owes its origin to Naples.
In the 16th century, pizzas started gaining popularity as a street food and gradually became the staple fare of the poor in Naples. However, with the passage of time, the nobility and aristocratic classes took to relishing pizzas that were enriched with more nutritious ingredients, prominent amongst them being tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, oregano, and marjoram.
The preparation of pizza in modern day Italy
Pizzas continue to be one of the most salient fares of Italy and each and every region in the Mediterranean country has its distinctive variety. Broadly speaking, there are two broad categories of pizza-the Neapolitan (Naples) and the Rome varieties. All the other variations can be grouped under any of the above two chief classifications. Pizzerias (restaurants exclusively serving pizza dishes) usually serve the rounded form whereas the ones served on the street are usually in slices.