In recent years, Italy has benefited greatly from a large number of tourists who visit the country all the year round and are not just summer time visitors in search of sea, sun and sand. There has been a large number of tourists that have come just to explore the food and wines that are produced in the country. The term “Enogastronomic tourism” has been created and this refers to food and wine tourism as there is now a growing number of holiday companies who are creating schedules to satisfy the culinary desires of visitors to the country.
The beauty of Italy is that much of its agricultural produce is Mediterranean in nature and this has a major influence on the types of food that is served around the country. Italy is famed for a number of dishes that are eaten around the world, and no food produce is eaten more than pasta.
Pasta is made from an unleavened dough mixture of durum wheat flour, eggs and water, which is molded into different shapes and then boiled. It can be served separately and alongside sauces or some pasta dishes have the pasta cooked within the sauce. Spaghetti is mainly cooked separately whereas Lasagne is a good example of the pasta being baked within the sauce. There are great regional variations of pasta, and it can either be bought in a dried form or people can make their own versions at home.
There are many cooking schools in Italy that teach people how to make pasta. Alongside this, the tourists are also shown how to make the sauces that go along with it. There are many cookery schools in Rome and these are being filled every year, as people want to find how to make their favorite dishes the Italian way. As well as Rome being a popular destination, so are the rural areas where the produce is grown. In Schiazzano, close to Naples, tourists are given the opportunity to visit the lemon and lime groves during the day, where jams, breads, olive oils and lemonades are produced.
Other visitors are offered opportunities to visit Mediterranean styled farms where vegetables, fruits, meats and cheeses are grown and made. The destination of the produce of these small farms is to local restaurants in the town centre. After visiting the farms, the visitors are then taken to the relevant restaurants where the produce that has been grown is then presented on the menu.
This relationship between the producer and the restaurant is an area where the Italians are particularly strong and differ from other farming nations, where many farmers are just producing for supermarket chains. This local relationship is also seen in Italy’s wine industry. There are many Italian wines that are exported around the world, yet there are many others that will not leave the region that they are produced in. More and more people are visiting Italy to taste these local wines.
Tuscany is one of the favorite destinations as it is the area that Chiantis are produced. Tourists are able to tour the vineyards and are also able to sample some of the wines that are crafted. Some of these can be bought around the world while some are just for the local market. “Enogastronomic tourism” is growing as more people visit Italy each year in search of satisfying their curiosity to why the country produces such great food and wine.