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But beyond the extravagance of Rome's wealthiest citizens and flamboyant gourmands, a more restrained cuisine emerged for the masses: breads baked with emmer wheat; polenta made from ground barley; cheese, fresh and aged, made from the milk of cows and sheep; pork sausages and cured meats; vegetables grown in the fertile soil along the Tiber. In these staples, more than the spice-rubbed game and wine-soaked feasts of Apicius and his ilk, we see the earliest signs of Italian cuisine taking shape.
The pillars of Italian cuisine, like the pillars of the Pantheon, are indeed old and sturdy. The arrival of pasta to Italy is a subject of deep, rancorous debate, but despite the legend that Marco Polo returned from his trip to Asia with ramen noodles in his satchel, historians believe that pasta has been eaten on the Italian peninsula since at least the Etruscan time. Pizza as we know it didn't hit the streets of Naples until the seventeenth century, when Old World tomato and, eventually, cheese, but the foundations were forged in the fires of Pompeii, where archaeologists have discovered 2,000-year-old ovens of the same size and shape as the modern wood-burning oven. Sheep's- and cow's-milk cheeses sold in the daily markets of ancient Rome were crude precursors of pecorino and Parmesan, cheeses that literally and figuratively hold vast swaths of Italian cuisine together. Olives and wine were fundamental for rich and poor alike. #foodie #history #pizza #flatbread #flatbreadpizza #prosciutto #pork #mastersweek #mastersweekend #mastersweek2019 #foodporn #tranquility #peace at Augusta, Georgia