Mediterranean countries have always enjoyed food as the perfect occasion for strengthening their family bonds and for making good friends. Making visitors feel welcome has always been a priority and the phrase ‘Adding a seat at the dinner table’ is often used to describe their hospitality. Whether dishes are served in an almost endless succession of courses (as it happens in Italy, France and Spain) or whether a colourful display is placed in front of the guests at the beginning of the meal (Moroccan meals are characterised by the so called ‘mezze’) Mediterranean meals have always been bountiful.
Coming from an Italian background Laura choses to serve all courses in the Italian style:
- Aperitivo is a selection of appetizers typically accompanied by drinks
- Antipasto (literally ‘before meal’) is the starter
- Primo is a soup, a risotto or a pasta dish. This is normally quite substantial in itself
- Secondo is a meat, fish or vegetable dish. Especially if it’s meat or fish, it’s normally accompanied by a contorno, which is typically a vegetable side course
- Formaggi is a selection of cheeses, often reserved for the longest meals
- Dolce (literally meaning ‘sweet’) is the dessert
Pomodoro uses the Italian dining structure as a perfect frame for combining the best of each cuisine into a carefully selected menu which will be enriched by the unique flavours of each culture.
As they belong to the same staple diet and with shared centuries of history, many Mediterranean specialities and cooking techniques are common to more than one country. They often have recurring ingredients which enhance each other when they come together.
The staple ingredients of the Mediterranean diet provide the cornerstone of all Pomodoro menus. Vegetables with ripe juicy tomatoes at the top of the list; seasoning ingredients such as olive oil and balsamic vinegar; fresh herbs and spices; mature and fresh cheeses; cured meats; fresh and marinated fish and a selection of nuts and fresh fruit.
The sun-drenched Mediterranean diet has always been praised as one of the healthiest. An excellent combination of olive oil & vegetable products is the key to many dishes that make this diet a succulent & irresistibly delicious way of eating.