Every significant culture has influenced American cuisine in some way.
Because the United States is a land of opportunity, many of the world’s most popular cuisines have made their way to the country via immigrant populations.
Italian cuisine may be at the top of cuisines that have influenced American cuisine. It’s fascinating to see how food travels and changes from culture to culture.
One of the most fascinating journeys that Italian cuisine has taken is earning its place on the American dining scene.
Pasta’s history is difficult to trace for a variety of reasons. The paste is the Italian translation of the word.
It refers to the dough usually made from simple ingredients ( flour, water, and eggs ).
It makes distinguishing pasta from other ancient dishes with the same ingredients difficult. Furthermore, because pasta has long been a staple of the working class, it has not received the same attention as more extravagant foods. Nevertheless, it is one of the world’s most popular foods!
Let’s change that by looking into the history of pasta on The History Kitchen.
The History of Italian Cuisine in America
It took some American influence on Italy to spark the development of many of the authentic Italian meals we have come to know and love. Corn, tomatoes, peppers, cactus fruit, and zucchini are examples of American crops that made their way into Italian culture during the late eighteenth century. These plants were grown as “new world” oddities in small botanical gardens until their popularity spread across the country. The acceptance of these American crops increased the variety of Italian cuisine.
Sicily and Naples, which were well-known for their citrus production by the 1880s, began to experiment with various methods of growing and processing tomatoes. Because of the high demand for pasta, many factories opened and began producing Sicilian wheat. Even the government encouraged the growth of the olive industry in anticipation of increasing global demand.
Millions of Italian immigrants came to America between 1870 and 1920 in search of the American dream, leaving behind a country devastated by World War I. Many Italian immigrants settled on the East Coast after passing through Ellis Island in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City are among the cities with large Italian populations.
These new Italians brought their regional cooking preferences with them. The culinary influences eventually blended. Immigrants from Naples adapted recipes from Florence, and people from Rome cooked with Sicilians, kicking off the Italian-American cuisine revolution.
How Pasta Become Popular in America
While pasta wasn’t widely available in the United States, Italian cuisine didn’t gain its maximum popularity until American soldiers came out of World War II with a new appetite for authentic Italian food. Many Italian-Americans responded by opening Italian-inspired restaurants and delis to meet the growing demand for Italian cuisine.
One of the most significant changes in recipes was the regular use of meat, not only on special occasions. As a result of the increased demand, imports of pasta, cheese, olives, and oils increased.
While most Italian dishes that many Americans enjoy today are not “authentic,” their origins are traditional. Olive oil, garlic, and herbs are essential ingredients in any good Italian dish. Regardless of the recipe or its origin, the foundation of these ingredients makes it Italian at its core.
It’s hard to pick a specific dish from a single country, especially given the history of sharing recipes, ideas, and crops. Because there are so many factors that can be used to determine authenticity, it’s difficult to agree on labels. But one thing is certain: whether authentic or not, Italian cuisine holds a unique position in the American cooking landscape. If you’re looking for the finest Italian restaurant in Frisco, Texas, come to Bella Bella mozzarella.