Hello Italian and French food lovers,
A few days ago I was having a nice dinner with a friend who started claiming that the French cuisine is better than the Italian one (yes, in my face!).
Aside from the provocateur jokes we can do over this topic, I have to admit that that sentence opened a deep and wide discussion above one of the most interesting and ancient diatribes above food: Italian food or French food?
Well, I have an interesting theory about this topic, which I believe it can give a wider solution than just claiming one is better (or not) compared to the other one.
First of all, let me start by saying that I believe it is wrong to compare the two cuisines and that, eventually, a comparison is misleading. As much misleading as wondering if a car is better than a horse. Well… they both bring you wherever you need to go, but can you really compare them? I believe that the same metaphor can be applied to Italian and French ways of cooking.
If I could choose two adjectives to describe them, I would choose ‘complexity’ against ‘simplicity’. I believe I don’t need to specify which adjective is for which cuisine 😉
Indeed, the whole match is played around these two concepts. In Italy, people have been lucky enough to have extraordinary raw materials naturally growing from the earth. How many of you have tried a fresh red tomato in South of Italy? Trust me, it worth the journey…
Still, over thousands of years Italians have developed unique and localized skills for the production of incredible food as Prosciutto, Cheeses, Mozzarella, fresh pasta, olive oil and many others that are really close to raw materials. Pasta is just wheat and water, mozzarella is milk and rennet, Olive oil is just… well… Olive oil! and so on. So what does it means having extremely valuable raw materials and a warm weather? It means “Make it simple”! Literally, don’t make things complicated! If you have a gorgeous tomato, you WANT that its taste emerges and not that something else covers it. It is not a case that the most popular pizza is the margarita. In Italy, the dough itself is so tasty that you just want to enhance the taste of it with a bit of tasty tomato and mozzarella. Anything else would just cover its taste. Simple, no? ☺
On the other side instead, we have an extremely structured and rich cuisine: the French one! Born probably to satisfy the sophisticated tasted of the king of France, French people came out with tasteful combinations of flavors and perfumes. And the butter, of course XD
Tons of butter!!! Now… I always believed Frenchs cheat a bit about cooking, as it is impossible (and immoral) not to make something super good when using 1Kg of butter for every single recipe… but still, I have to admit that their butter is impressive. And their baguettes. And their Fois Gras…. Dam it! XD
Finally, what can I say? It is difficult to compare a cuisine that plays on simplicity in order to exalt a taste already existing and another one that works hard to create them. There is no winner.
Actually, if we really want to find a winner between Italy and France, we can find it on the night of 9th July 2006. On this ‘field’, Italy has always been better (even if occasionally France wins some world cup XD), there is no doubt on this <3 LOL