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How Italian Taste Is Formed

After the milk the first pasta

A preference for certain foods is acquired in the first months of life, in the mother’s milk, smelling the smells coming out of the pots on the boil in the kitchen, watching the adults with a spirit of emulation while they eat. That’s how Italian taste is established very early on.

Everyone has their own sense of taste and so there are those who instinctively have a natural preference for savouries rather than sweets and vice versa, but as well as these individual preferences, there are also cultural categories which are learnt early on and which are the basis for the preference for certain flavours, for a consistency, for a particular aroma, for combinations of foods and cooking methods.

That’s why, even though most baby foods are the same the world over – since infants are infants and all the new born babies in the world without teeth eat the same purées, liquidised foods and grated apple – there is a difference.

A difference based on ingredients and on seasonings, in keeping with the Mediterranean diet, but also on recipes. An example is extra virgin olive oil: a few drops in the first vegetable purees provide vitamins and minerals, but also get babies used to the taste. Another example is the first spaghetti, made from “capelli d’angelo”, the very fine strands of pasta made for eating in soup, but seasoned here with a spoon of cooked tomato pulp and mashed with a fork and a few drops of oil: the destiny of the “Italian lover of pasta” is guaranteed.

Here are some Italian baby foods.

Vegetable soup

In half a litre of cold water slightly salted with iodine sea salt: a carrot, half a potato, a tomato, 50 grams of greens (beets, courgettes or spinach), a small stick of celery. Only add a little onion after 6/8 months. Simmer at medium heat until cooked, filter without pressing. the quantity of liquid will have reduced by about half. With this basic broth you can make creams, pasta, and vegetable soups.

Cream with broth

Into the vegetable broth scatter one or two spoons of cream of rice or barley or cereals. When it is cooked and has been taken off the flame, add a spoon of extra virgin olive oil. Then a teaspoon of grated parmesan.

Cream of chicken

Add 20 to 40 g of chicken (breast) which has been steamed and then liquidised, to the vegetable broth.

    

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