SID: 450638251, OLET1105: Cultures of Food – Europe, Module-4: Project
Number of Words (excluding Footnotes, Bibliography and Annexures): 1017 words
?Industry Report – Italian Food Culture and its manifestation in Australia

1. Summary of visit to an Italian Restaurant

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I visited the ‘Andiamo Trattoria’, an Italian restaurant to study the European food culture and what it focuses on to suit Australian tastes. I visited this restaurant on 4th April 2018 where I met and interviewed the shift manager (Jackson Worthell) and a waitress (Winona Ryder) to understand how the Italian food industry has adapted to its Australian presence. It is a moderately large restaurant with seating available for 60-80 people. There were about 7-8 employees getting ready to serve the guests for the evening.

The restaurant brings the modern Italian dining experience to Australia. Its aim is on bringing the tastiest of ‘Nona’s’ dishes to the clientele in the slick chic style that Sydney’s fellow Spice Alley restaurants seem to match. The concentration is on a variety of tasty pizza and pasta recipes traditionally enjoyed as a humble family meal. Processes are strictly adhered to match high levels of efficiency that Italian pizza houses often are known for. All the pizzas toppings are carefully and aesthetically lined up to provide the client with a thoroughly pleasant experience. Overall, the restaurant did all things expected of an eatery of similar standards.

2. Italian Food Culture –It’s History and Contemporary Manifestation

The Italians of the continent of Europe pride themselves on a long history of food culture dating from the Roman times. During that era while nobles’ tables were laden with local produce and imports from the conquered lands, the common folks lived on vine, olives and cereals (the Mediterranean triad) along with vegetables, legumes and cheese. In the middle ages, Sicilian food culture was influenced by the Arabs to include dried fruits and spices. In the Later Middle Ages, with the growth of trade, culinary Italy opened up to influences of other countries. This was especially seen in the increased use of spices and cane sugar. Marzipan, Cassata and Gelato owe their origins to this period. In the fourteenth century Tuscany opened its doors to gastronomic experiments. Cabbage, olive and peas were grown in plenty. Rome with all its rich nobles was not far behind.?
With discovery of the New World Turkey, sweet corn, potatoes and tomatoes found their way to the table. It is said that tomatoes were a poor man’s food before it was made famous by Queen Margherita. This also popularized the dish – pizza. In the seventeenth century use of tomatoes with pasta saw a rise in Southern Italy. This century saw the writing down of traditional cooking recipes. The nineteenth century established the popularity of pesto and pizza, the former being the pride of Genoa and Liguria.

The modern period noticed the popularity of ‘ready to eat’ dishes but newer movements like ‘slow food movement’ and experimentation by chefs, have helped Italy to revert to the traditional and local produce.

Today’s chefs are ready to experiment and come out with modern twists to age-old recipes. Contemporary manifestations like veal tongue pastrami, vacuum packed dried – pasta pizza have been popularized in Italy.

3. Chosen Food Culture in the Australian Context

The Australian influences on Italian food start with pizza being tailored to Australian palate. The ‘Pizza Australia’ is often on the menu including toppings such as fried eggs, ham and so on with a barbeque sauce base. To overcome the cost factor in importing raw materials from Italy, many choose a locally grown alternative. Sometimes Australian pizzas resemble the Turkish ‘Pides’ traditionally eaten by many Turks living in Australia. Another influence is the serving of sides such as chips, wings, waffle fries and so on, to go with the meal. This preference among many Australians frequently outnumbers the number of desserts in the dessert menu. The existence of Indian, Chinese, Thai and Mexican toppings on the pizza hint at the differences in the demographic consumption of pizzas in Australia.

The Aussie Egg and Bacon Pizza

(Author: The Cook; URL: https://aussietaste.recipes/pizza/the-aussie-egg-and-bacon-pizza/)

4. Literature Review?
The article has helped me understand the background of Italian cuisine, its place in Australia, and why one sees a unique Italian gastronomic culture in the country.

The study about the southern Italian cuisine opened my mind to combining ‘tastes and flavors’ of the countryside and meat for a new gastronomical experience, especially in Australian context.

The understanding of what goes into making a good and flavorful pizza was very helpful. It has also made me think about right combinations and the scientific process that go into it.

This article helped in understanding the multiple parameters that control the gastronomic experience of Italian food in Australia. ‘Simple maybe, but authentic’ is what the people look for in Italian dishes.

Though very brief, the newspaper article helped me understand the ‘Australian Twist to Italian food’. To start looking beyond the obvious was the message.

5. Menu

Italians traditional meals are long and lingering as the family gathers together for the meal and drinks.

The meal starts with Anti-Pasti or starters. The best example is the simple Caprese salad, which is a combination of rustic bread, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and Basil. People have alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks like Wine, Champagne or Aperitivo (liqueur) like Prosecco or Campari.?
Recipe link: http://www.tasty-italian-cooking.com/caprese-salad.html

This is followed by the first main course or Primi Piatti, which are usually starches like Risotto, Gnocchi or Pastas being served. Pasta Fagioli, a pasta bean dish also forms a part of the first course. White or Red wine accompanies the course.?
Recipe from: https://www.illumewellness.com/single-post/2014/10/21/-My-Grandma%E2%80%99s-Gluten-Free-Style-Pasta-Fagioli

The second course or Secondi Piatti is usually a main or the meat course. The recipe uses lamb, mushrooms and traditional herb Tarragon. Vegetables are also served as a side dish (Contorno) in many homes. Compatico or bread always accompanies the second piatti. Red or white wines accompany this course.
Recipe from: https://italiannotes.com/lamb-fillet-with-mushroom/
The course that ends the meal is usually the Dessert or Dolce like Tiramisu made of eggs, ladyfingers and cocoa. ?
Recipe from: https://www.eataly.com/us_en/magazine/eataly-recipes/traditional-tiramisu/ ?Coffee or Amaro (Digestive) are had at the end along with the dessert. Digestives are a small shot of alcohol called digestive bitters.
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Andiamo Trattoria (Southern Italian Restaurant), Industrial Visit, 9 Kensington Street, Chippendale, NSW 2008, Australia, ?URL: http://www.andiamotrattoria.com.au/.

Bezzone, F. “History of Italian Cuisine, parts 1,2,3,4” Life in Italy Magazine, 2017.
URL: https://www.lifeinitaly.com/food/history-italian-cuisine

Caporaso, N., Panariello, V. and Sacchi, R. “The “True” Neapolitan Pizza: Assessing the Influence of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on Pizza Volatile Compounds and Lipid Oxidation”, Journal of Culinary Science & Technology, vol. 13, no. 1 (2015): 29-48.?URL: https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy1.library.usyd.edu.au/doi/pdf/10.1080/15428052.2014.952476?needAccess=true
McNeilage, A. “A New Wave of Italian Food Washes Over Sydney.” Sydney Morning Herald, Jan 13, 2015. ?URL: http://ezproxy.library.usyd.edu.au/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy1.library.usyd.edu.au/docview/1644460495?accountid=14757??Renna, M., Rinaldi, V.A. and Gonnella, M. “The Mediterranean diet between traditional foods and human health: The culinary example of Puglia (Southern Italy)”, International journal of Gastronomy and Food Science (2) 2015, p.63-71. ?http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijgfs.2014.12.001

Sacks, K. and Blunt, W. “The modern foundation of Italian cuisine”, Star chefs Magazine/ Newsletter, September 2012. ?URL: http://www.starchefs.com/cook/travel/dining-italy-2012

Swinbank, V. “Brief history of the development of Italian cuisine in Australia”, Italian Historical Society Journal, vol.15 (2007): 13-15.

Woolway, M. “Exploring Authenticity: Italian Cuisine in Australia.” Hospitality (08, 2016). URL: http://ezproxy.library.usyd.edu.au/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy1.library.usyd.edu.au/docview/1815805009?accountid=14757.

Live Links

The Aussie Egg And Bacon Pizza picture, (Author: The Cook, URL: https://aussietaste.recipes/pizza/the-aussie-egg-and-bacon-pizza/)

Recipe from: http://www.tasty-italian-cooking.com/caprese-salad.html )
Recipe from: https://www.illumewellness.com/single-post/2014/10/21/-My-Grandma%E2%80%99s-Gluten-Free-Style-Pasta-Fagioli
Recipe from: https://italiannotes.com/lamb-fillet-with-mushroom/
Recipe from: https://www.eataly.com/us_en/magazine/eataly-recipes/traditional-tiramisu/
Annexure-1: Transcript of the interview with the staff of the industry chosen for study.

Name of the industry identified: Andiamo Trattoria (Southern Italian Restaurant).
Kind of Industry: Restaurant
Address: 9 Kensington Street, Chippendale, NSW 2008, Australia.
Telephone: +61 2 9280 0081
Website: http://www.andiamotrattoria.com.au/
Date of the visit: 04 April 2018
Employees interviewed and their designation: Jackson Worthell (Shift Manager) and Winona Ryder (Waitress).

QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES

How long have you been in operation???Answer: Since around 1997.

Is it a franchise???Answer: Yes.

What is your connection to the specific food culture? What connection does other staff have with the European food culture? Can I speak to a staff member who has strong links with that culture to get their views on the translation of pizza culture with Australian tastes and /or the fast food movement???Answer: All the staff working in the restaurant have no direct ties to Italy but have an interest in Italian foods, mostly pizzas; Mostly, the pizza ‘Australiana’.

How strong is the link to pizza making cultural original? Has the European food culture undergone changes in its Australian presence? In what way? (e.g. different ingredients; methods of cooking; shortcuts; presentation etc.)??Answer: The link is very weak, as for instance, every week heralds a new favoured method for the preparation of the base. The European food culture has undergone changes in its Australian presence. For instance, the availability of various cereal grains that are endemic to Europe would hinder the possibility to bringing the traditional crunch to the crusts.

If it’s a restaurant or café, how often does the menu change? Is it seasonal? What dishes are the most popular? ??Answer: It is a restaurant. The menu never changes. The ‘Capricciosa’ pizza is the most popular. ?
Do Italians come and eat here? ??Answer: People from all over the world eat here.

Who chooses what items to import? What items are the most popular import? If import is common, why are they popular? ??Answer: It is all standardised and decided by the corporate side of the franchise; A fair share to be honest.?
How does the substitution of certain oils or toppings affect the taste of the pizza???Answer: Not perceptible to most people.

What Turkish influences does the Italian pizza industry in Sydney take on???Answer: The use of various Turkish sausages and sauces in the pizza.

Annexure-2: Pictures of the Visit to Andiamo Trattoria?
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Menu for the day??
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Inside the Restaurant

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Australian Pizza

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Details about the Restaurant
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Menu-1

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Menu-2

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