Every gourmet, or for that matter anyone who takes immense pleasure in flavours – a “foodie” to be precise, must’ve wanted to tingle and refresh their taste buds. Many chefs, entrepreneurs and even globetrotters have been successful in introducing or adapting tastes from around the world in India. Europe, being a culinary-rich continent that has delectable recipes which have been part of their legacies carried on for centuries, has been one such major influence on the Indian palate. Of that, Italian cuisine has been a preference at events ranging from kids’ birthday parties to house parties to sports games or even weddings.
Tons of restaurants and chains have made or adapted the different types of pizzas – deep dish, wood fire, pan, thin-crust, cheese burst or even a burger outlet like McDonald’s giving it their own touch by creating the Pizza McPuff. Italy has the classic Margarita and Marinara pizzas but here we have pizzas according to castes of people; for example, Jain pizzas can be found without the use of any root vegetables. Chocolate pizzas are also a hit among Indians due to their sweet tooth. Adaptations have been made with pasta as well, whether it’s the Arrabbiata, Alfredo or Pesto sauce that we call red, white and green sauce respectively. Penne (cylindrical), Fusilli (corkscrew), Spaghetti (long cylindrical), Macaroni and Fettuccine (ribbon) are the most common types of pasta in India. Even small bakeries, cafes and street food vendors make these two popular foods because of the craze that people have. Risotto rice has been retouched at exquisite Italian restaurants with the use of Indian spices.
Parmesan, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Ricotta, Burrata, and a ton of other cheese varieties have been exploited by expert chefs. Dairies have been making these kinds of cheese since time immemorial in India. The only limitation is the awareness of such a diverse assortment. The same goes for the bread of Italia – Focaccia, Ciabatta, Friselle and other authentic herbed bread. They’ve been made in premium bakeries for decades but purchased by a specific audience only. Once again, we see McDonald’s integrate the Focaccia bread into their menu for an Italian twist. We’ve seen a rise in Gelaterias over the country with a spin of tropical Indian flavours like Mango, Guava, Banana, Lychee, Pineapple, Orange, Grape, etc.
Apart from Italian recipes in India, Indian recipes have also been given Italian fusions. You may have probably seen Italian dosas, sandwiches, biryanis, chaats, samosas, vada pavs, and loads of other blends. It’s definitely the simplicity of the ingredients and their gorgeously vivid flavours that make people feel wholesome after an Italian meal. This has led to the customisation of this cuisine in countries around the world of which India is a fellow.