The World-Famous Cuisine of Campania, Italy

Campania Cuisine pic

Campania Cuisine
Image: charmingitaly.com

Psychiatrist Dr. Christie Mensch evaluates, diagnoses, and treats adult patients at the Wyandot Center in Kansas City, Kansas. In her free time, Dr. Christie Mensch enjoys cooking and traveling throughout Europe. She is particularly fond of the food found in the Campania region of southern Italy.

Campania is most well known around the world for its pizza and pasta made with locally grown wheat. With its fertile volcanic soil, the area is an agricultural paradise that produces a variety of vegetables and herbs, including eggplant, peppers, garlic, basil, and the world-renowned San Marzano tomato. Many of these ingredients are highlighted in popular local dishes such as cianfotta, parmigiana de melanzane, and spaghetti alla puttanesca.

In addition to wonderful produce, Campania, which runs along the Gulf of Naples and Sorrento, features cuisine that utilizes local fish and other fresh seafood, such as octopus, mussels, and clams cooked in a variety of ways. Other popular ingredients and dishes native to the area include various cheeses, cured meats, pastries, and frozen desserts.

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England’s Hearty Traditional Cumberland Pie

 

Cumberland Pie pic

Cumberland Pie
Image: britishfood.about.com

Dr. Christie Mensch is a respected Kansas City physician who treats patients for anxiety and depression at the Wyandot Center. With a passion for travel, Dr. Christie Mensch has visited destinations throughout Europe, from Italy to England, and she particularly enjoys British cuisine.

One of the traditional hearty dishes popular throughout England is the Cumberland pie, which stands as a variant on the shepherd’s pie, which is made with lamb, and the cottage pie. It dates at least as far back as medieval times, when wild game and dried fruits were often used in various dishes.

Cooked in a baking dish, the contemporary Cumberland pie features a combination of meat, celery, carrots, onions, and other seasonal vegetables. Worcestershire sauce adds a distinctive flavor, as do fresh thyme and bay leaves. Potatoes are boiled separately and sliced and layered on top of the meat, with breadcrumbs and cheese sprinkled as a finishing touch. The dish is baked in the oven until the top is crisp and golden, with the meat sauce bubbling underneath.

Campania’s Vegetable- and Cheese-Focused Cuisine

Campania Cuisine pic

Campania Cuisine
Image: charmingitaly.com

Christie Mensch practices psychiatry in a Kansas City outpatient setting, caring for people with conditions ranging from attention-deficit disorder to personality disorders. A culinary enthusiast, Christie Mensch enjoys creating dishes from fresh local produce; she found inspiration in the cuisines of Tuscany and Campania while traveling in Italy.

Featuring volcanic, fertile soil, Campania spans coastal cities such as Naples and Amalfi and is particularly known for its indigenous tomato, the San Marzano. Other common ingredients include capers, basil, and olives. One of the region’s signature dishes is fritto misto, morsels of food battered and deep-fried, traditionally eaten straight out of the frying pan. A popular rustic dish is peperoni imbottiti: black olives, breadcrumbs, garlic, capers, and anchovies stuffed in bell peppers.

The popular farmhouse cheeses of Campania include cow’s and sheep’s milk pecorino and provolone. Perhaps the most famous artisan cheese tradition centers around mozzarella di bufala, made from water-buffalo milk. Not coincidentally, Campania is considered by many to be the birthplace of pizza, though the Neapolitan pizza margherita is a far cry from its American cousin.