What makes Italian food authentic?
Italian American vs. Authentic Italian Cuisine
The tug of war between authentic Italian and Italian American has been raging since the first wave of Italian immigrants landed on the east coast of the United States at the end of the 19th Century. In an effort to please the American palate, "Italian" food was chopped up, redefined, and redistributed in ways that any Italian arriving for the first time would hardly even recognize.
When defining the two types of cuisine and comparing or contrasting, it's important to understand what makes authentic Italian authentic. It really boils down to a few simple ideas. First, Italian food isn't a monolith. It's regional, and every region of Italy has its own customs, traditions, and cultural touchstones that define its food. Second, Italian food is seasonal. There's a right time to be eating white truffles (late fall/early winter), tomatoes (May through October), and artichokes (March through May). Third, Italian food is a lifestyle, where courses come slowly, pasta is not a main, and cappuccino is breakfast and breakfast only.