Australians have been enjoying Italian food for decades – since Italians migrated to Australia after World War II.
This was a blessing in disguise as it introduced Italian food and culture. We only need to think about “spag bol” which is a staple in most Australian households.
If there is one truth about global cuisine it will be that no matter where you go in the world some form of Italian cuisine will be available.
However, there is a caveat – many of the restaurants that claim to be Italian are Italian in name only.
The question remains, why now, more than ever, are more and more Australians flocking to restaurants that provide an authentic Mediterranean experience?
The answer may lie in the increasingly sophisticated Australian palate.
For many years Australians have become more aware of global cuisine that provides an authentic experience. It’s not just about “food”.
Australia has also shaken off the idea that they are victims of distance, especially when it comes to cuisine.
Our country has also benefited from an influx of migrants from Asia, Africa & South America. Many of those immigrants have chosen to establish restaurants that offer an authentic experience.
That experience is increasingly easy to find and a look at the statistics of the cultural makeup of Australian society tells us why.
Those of Italian descent are the third largest ethnic group in the country and Italian is the third most spoken language.
The success of Italian cuisine in a country which is increasingly exposed to global culinary influences is a testament to just how good the food is and the various options available to all foodies.
There are world-class Italian restaurants in every one of Australia’s major metropolitan areas.
Many of these restaurants have stood the test of time while going head to head with purveyors of menu items that are at the cutting edge of the global movement towards fusion and internationally influenced cuisine.
The secret to the success of Italian cuisine seems to be the Australian commitment to enjoying the freshest ingredients and the authenticity of the menus that they come across at the many Italian eateries.
There also seems to be a healthy dose of nostalgia involved in the Italian dining experience.
There is anecdotal evidence that both Australians and global diners are becoming ‘burned out’ by the complexity of dishes that many top class restaurants are offering.
These diners long for simplicity – and that is at the foundation of Italian cooking.
Simple ingredients combined in a way that brings out the best in all the components – so that they epitomise the Italian commitment to ‘la dolce vita’ – the sweet life.
It is no wonder that Italian cuisine will continue to play an important part in the Australian culinary landscape – and for many Australians, this is something to be thankful for.