Last updated 4 months ago
Mediterranean food may include the foods of any nation that borders the Mediterranean Sea, but the most iconic example of this type of food carried through the dining in the United States may be the cuisine from southern Italy. Italian food has a certain romance for American audiences, but recently it has been gaining popularity as everyday fare because of its delicious flavors and healthy benefits. Here is a closer look at Mediterranean Food from an Italian perspective.
Seasonings like saffron and nutmeg give Mediterranean dishes a certain warmth that is complemented by the fresh herbal flavor of sweet basil and savory oregano. These spices can be seen in a number of dishes with herbs in whole leaves and spices ground fresh for their fullest flavor.
Fresh vegetables galore
Freshness does not stop at seasoning for Mediterranean diners. Meals are generally very rich in vegetables such as tomatoes, squash, and spinach. These foods can be dressed simply with a squeeze of lemon and a touch of black pepper. Because the weather is always warm and balmy by the Mediterranean waters, the fresh tastes typically associated with spring and summer in other nations are enjoyed year-round by Italian diners.
Abundant fish and seafood
Being close to the water makes seafood the natural selection for protein. There is little land for grazing in Mediterranean nations, so even their land fare is limited to chicken, turkey, and goat. Red meat is almost never eaten and fish is served for multiple meals throughout the day. Whole fish like Branzino is a popular choice, as it can be dressed simply with herbs and grilled for a delightful centerpiece at a family-style dinner.
To enjoy the flavors of the Mediterranean without flying overseas, visit Piccolo Trattoria for classic Italian fare with a modern twist. We have three BYOB locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey that can be reached by calling (215) 860-4247, (215) 750-3639, or (609) 737-9050. You can also find our menu and a history of our restaurant by visiting our website today.
Last updated 4 months ago
If you have heard buzz about the Mediterranean Diet, you may think that the health benefits of this diet are too good to be true. The foods consumed on the Mediterranean Diet include fish, whole grains, olive oil, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
As you will learn in this video, the delicious foods that you can consume will have staggering effects on your blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight. Recent studies have proven these claims, so you might consider transitioning to a Mediterranean Diet for yourself.
To find healthy dining out options within the guidelines of the Mediterranean Diet, visit Piccolo Trattoria in Pennsylvania or New Jersey. Visit us on our website or call (215) 860-4247, (215) 750-3639, or (609) 737-9050 to make dinner reservations with us.
Last updated 5 months ago
While there are some foods like red meat that may raise your cholesterol to dangerous heights, there are also animal proteins that can control and even lower your cholesterol when consumed regularly. Scallops are one food in particular with a number of benefits for diners who are looking to keep their cholesterol down.
Scallops are naturally very low in fat, and the one gram of fat they do contain per serving are good fats. Good fats are those that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which actually cleanse the blood and drive down cholesterol levels. There is some cholesterol present in scallops, but there are also sterols in scallop meat that help to prevent the absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream.
If you want to see how delicious scallops can be, try some of the innovative seafood creations available at Piccolo Trattoria. To make a reservation at any of our BYOB locations, visit our website or call us at (215) 860-4247, (215) 750-3639, or (609) 737-9050.
Last updated 5 months ago
Veal is a traditional staple of Italian family-style cuisine. On smaller family farms, it is more cost-effective to keep a small number of dairy cows, and to slaughter calves before they reach full maturity and begin to consume large amounts of food each day. Veal is a very tender meat with a texture similar to pork and much more mild flavor.
Compared to beef from an adult cow, veal has a similar amount of protein and sodium. However, since calves have less body fat than adult cows, veal is lower in fat and has fewer calories per ounce than beef. Also, unlike the large beef steaks that many diners enjoy, veal cutlets are usually very thin, which means that a typical portion contains less meat than a typical serving of steak.
At Piccolo Trattoria, we prepare many classic Italian dishes with veal, including parmigiana, piccata, and marsala. You can bring a bottle of your favorite wine to enjoy with our expertly prepared dishes. For information about our locations and our catering service, visit our website.
Last updated 6 months ago
Whether you are selecting a caterer for your next special event or simply selecting where to dine out tonight, Italian food is always a healthy, delicious choice. The flavors are familiar yet fresh, complex yet accessible. No matter what your dietary preferences or restrictions are, you can find an Italian dish that you can eat and enjoy with gusto. Much of the unique flavor of Italian food comes from the characteristic use of Mediterranean spices, including the following.
The leaves of this plant are the key ingredient in pesto, a traditional green sauce that features pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Closely related to mint, this versatile herb can be found in a variety of dishes. One of the simplest and most elegant Italian salads is the insalata caprese, which features fresh mozzarella and ripe tomatoes accompanied by fresh basil leaves.
Laurel wreaths were used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to crown heroes, and today their leaves are a staple flavoring used in Mediterranean cuisine. Their strong flavor and aroma is very pungent, so one bay leaf is usually enough to flavor an entire pot of soup or pasta sauce.
The seeds of the fennel plant have an aroma and taste faintly reminiscent of anise, and they are used in pork dishes including sausages and cutlet preparations. The bulbs can be used in stews and soups, sliced or diced like onions, to impart a special characteristic sweetness.
Though most Americans associate this spice with eggnog and other fall and winter dishes, in Italy it is used year round to flavor ravioli filling and to add depth to meat-based ragus and other sauces.
This familiar herb appears almost everywhere in Italian cuisine, from the flavorful vinaigrettes used to dress salads to the herb mixtures that diners sprinkle on top of their pizzas.
The delicate stamens of the crocus flower, saffron threads are a valuable and rare spice. Just a few can give a rich yellow color to a risotto and impart a special flavor profile to a stew.
To sample the many flavors of Italy, visit Piccolo Trattoria. You can visit our website to find the location nearest to you.