22 Feb Where did some of the popular dishes from our Early Bird menu originate?
At Giovanni’s, we have created our Early Bird menu with some of the more popular dishes from around Italy and tried to incorporate their origins and heritage into the dish. Food and food culture in Italy is widely known around the world to be a pivotal part of the Italian heritage and society. Italian cuisine has become a staple in most countries, as far as the more commonly known dishes go. Many places all around the globe have added their own twist to the classic cuisine of Italy, such as pasta and pizza dishes. But where did some of the more popular dishes from our Early Bird menu originate?
The origins of popular Italian dishes from our Early Bird Menu
Garlic Bread – with cheese and tomato
The origins of garlic bread are one that is commonly assumed to have come from Italy. Although this delicious starter and side dish did, in fact, originate from Italian cuisine, it is a much different accompaniment today around the world than it was when it was first created. The first possible version of what we now have as garlic bread originated in Tuscany and was similar to bruschetta. The traditional version of garlic bread would have been toasted bread, rubbed with garlic and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil before being seasoned with salt and pepper and heated. It is possible that this was used as a means of making use of old or stale bread so that it did not go to waste. We, like many other Italian eateries around the world, have added our own twist to this traditional dish by incorporating cheese and tomato, making the dish somewhat of a combination between the ‘classic’ garlic bread and a pizza.
Lasagne originated in Italy during the Middle Ages and is traditionally said to have come from Naples. It was first recorded as a recipe in the early 14th Century, in Liber de Coquina – The Book of Cookery. Similar to how garlic bread has been adapted in different countries since its origin, the lasagne we know and love today bored only a slight resemblance to its original form. The traditional lasagne which was around in the 14th Century was comprised of fermented dough, flatted to create a thin sheet, which was then boiled, and sprinkled with cheese and spices. This recipe then developed to incorporate meat, which is now the traditional lasagne of Naples, lasagne di carnevale. This is layered with sausage, meatballs, hard-boiled eggs, both ricotta and mozzarella and then covered in a Neapolitan ragù. At Giovanni’s we have a few variations of lasagne available, including the classic, vegetarian and Bolognese style.
Polpette Con Piselli
Although many people would believe that spaghetti and meatballs is an Italian dish, this meal is actually non-existent in Italy. This doesn’t mean to say that the Italians don’t have both spaghetti and meatballs, but the dish itself is not commonly served at all. The Italian meatball is called a Polpette and are traditionally made from either ground beef, or veal, with vegetables and bread. The direct origins of polpette aren’t commonly known, however, there is some evidence that this food dates back many centuries, as it was around at the time of the Roman era. There were recipes found in an ancient cookbook written by Apicius who was born in the year 25AD. Our version of polpette is served in a tomato sauce with peas.
Enjoy our twist on traditional Italian dishes
At Giovanni’s way like to pay homage to the traditional Italian dishes that have been adapted and developed over the years as well as adding our own unique twist to them. Why not come and try some of the delicious food we have on offer as part of our A La Carte menu or try some of the dishes mentioned from our Early Bird menu – enjoy a 3-course meal between 5 – 6:30 pm Tuesdays to Saturdays for only £16.95!