Regional Food & Drink

The Campania region, along with the other regions in the South, were ‘unified’ by the same conquerers (from the Greeks to the Aragonese) making them similar and more ‘mediterranean’ thus setting them apart from the North. Southerners are known for being friendly, passionate, generous, with a culture centred around the family, religion and superstition – an inheritance stemming from their history as the poorest peasants in Europe (the land was in the hands of the King, Church and a few families). They had to make the most of the very little they had which is reflected in the wide variety of dishes to this day. The North boasted its French-influenced cuisine (with butter and cream); the South was seen as the cucina povera (poor man’s food) consisting mainly of vegetables and fish dressed only in olive oil. The tables were turned however when the Mediterranean Diet became fashionable and proved far healthier!

‘Mediterranean Diet’

It is believed the Mediterranean Diet was ‘discovered’ by a scientist/doctor from the Allied Forces who landed in Salerno in 1943. He visited the Cilento area and noticed that despite the widespread poverty, the inhabitants were nonetheless very healthy, thanks to their diet rich in fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses, fish, olive oil, herbs & wine therefore low in sugar & saturated fats (such as those found in meat & dairy products). Limited food supplies coupled with much exercise made for good health &
a long life.