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Edmonton's Little Italy

Food:  When you ask Italians what food is for, don't be surprised if the answer is always the same: to delight the palate and cheer the spirit. Eating well is an art, a lifestyle that has accompanied them for hundreds of years. In each region of Italy, the cuisine is a unique and creative means of recounting its own history. The continuous search for more delicate and original combinations of flavours is inspired by the teachings of tradition. This is how typical local dishes are born, and the result is a series of dishes with an unmistakable flavour. Each dish may be connected to a particular moment.

Grapes for wine-making.  'Photo courtesy of the Spinelli family.Wine:  It warms and gives strength. It is alive. It waxes with the moon and pales in the light of day. A diabolic origin was sometimes attributed to wine, but it rarely provokes malice. On the contrary, it almost always inspires love songs and fables.

Wine is one of the staples of the Italian food tradition, which boasts a diversified production and an array of tastes, colours, bouquets and flavours able to complement any type of dish.  Its function is refined: it sweetens, balances the basic tastes of food (salty, sweet, sour, bitter), so as to help the palate to better recognize and savour them.  It must be properly matched to a dish and served at the right temperature.  Tasting is a ritual that, for some, has a sacred value: the limpidity and the colour are observed; the bouquet is smelled; then it is drunk in small sips in order to appreciate every nuance.  Wine is written in the moral code of the Italian people.  It is the most sincere guest at every self-respecting table, to the point that refusing a glass of wine can be tantamount to giving serious offence.

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