How did Italian Cuisine Conquer the World?

According to research from, Italian is the most popular cuisine in the world. It beat Chinese and Japanese to the top spot, in a survey of over 25,000 people in 24 different countries. Pizza and pasta are two of the globe’s most iconic foods, and the crowd-pleasing cuisine can be found almost everywhere. The question is, how did it become so ubiquitous?

Italian Food has Inspired Many to Learn the Language

Italian food has been such a global revelation, that anyone who’s ever been to a restaurant probably knows a bit of the language from reading the menus. Indeed, some people may even be inspired to learn Italian in more detail so that they can appreciate the food properly.

Italy attracts around 100 million tourists each year, who travel to locations like Bologna and Naples to experience the famous dishes first-hand. Before visiting, it’s wise to learn some of the most important vocabulary using resources like The handy site has expert tutors who perform one-on-one lessons to accelerate your learning. If you tell them that you have an interest in gastronomy, you could use this as a topic to help you absorb the lingo.

Roman Influence

There is some evidence to suggest that the Roman Empire may have begun to prepare people’s palates for the future of Italian cuisine. Although the likes of pizza and pasta weren’t invented or popularised until hundreds of years after the great conquerors disappeared, the Romans did use many of the now commonly used Italian ingredients in their cuisine.

On their way towards colonising around 21 percent of the world’s population, the Romans carried their favourite ingredients from Italy with them and cultivated them wherever possible as well. These included items like garlic, shallots, and onions, as well as herbs such as thyme, basil, and mint.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, individual countries worked these flavours into their own dishes. There’s a strong chance that our ancestors’ enjoyment of them helped prepare us for a love of modern-day Italian cooking.

Emigration of Italians in the Early 20th Century

It is estimated that pizza was invented in Naples in the late 18th or early 19th Century. According to, it took a while for the dish to take off on its own soil. Indeed, it may have become a hit in the United States before it swept through Italy. This was thanks to the massive influx of Italian immigrants who left their home country in search of higher-paying jobs in the land of opportunity.

Later, greater numbers of Italians emigrated to other countries and set up pizza shops and chains. In Britain, people enjoyed the lighter style of the cuisine and enjoyed pairing it with Italian grapes, which were cheaper than the more widespread French options.

It stands to reason that the Romans may have prepared people for a future love of Italian cuisine by making the ingredients a staple in various countries’ own cuisines. Over the last few centuries, Italians have emigrated to nations all over the world and have taken their classic pizzas and pastas with them. If reading this has got you in the mood for the classic dough, check out for a great recipe.


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