[Thoughts on the Table – 14] Cooking Italian in North America

jessica burgio

In this episode, Jessica Burgio talks about the difficulty of recreating traditional Italian dishes in North America and gives her suggestions on how to make use of what’s locally available. She also explains how sometimes regional Italian dishes are hard to recreate even within Italy when taken outside of their native areas.


2 thoughts on “[Thoughts on the Table – 14] Cooking Italian in North America”

  1. Another enjoyable episode and a lot of familiar dilemmas discussed. Luckily I live in a major metropolitan area (DC) where Italian products, even relative "exotic" ones like ricotta salata or bresaola, can be fairly easily found (at a price). The real problem is with fresh products. Fresh cheeses like ricotta and mozzarella, of course, but to my mind the biggest challenge—and I was surprised it didn't come up except briefly regarding tomatoes and eggplants—are fruits and vegetables. Things might be different in Florida (where they grow things) or perhaps Vancouver, but here the quality of fresh produce, on the whole, is abysmal, even at the better supermarkets.

    1. Hi Frank, thanks for your comment. I used to feel exactly the same about Vancouver's fruit and vegetables, but I have to say that in the last few years I managed to find some of the flavors I was used to. The best supermarkets now seem to carry some organic produce that does compete with the Italian baseline. Of course I have to be very careful – it's easy to get carried away and buy a whole basket of veggies thinking like an Italian, and then pay 10 times the amount expected!

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