Showcasing the Mediterranean diet and Asian diet  




Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is made with the highest quality olives from the first pressing. It has a fruity olive flavor and is golden-green in color. Use extra virgin olive oil in pasta dishes, risottos, pestos, salad dressings, marinades, or drizzled over crusty bread.




Balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is made from grapes and aged in wooden barrels to develop a rich, sweetish flavor that is exquisite in Italian-style sauces, dressings and marinades. It's full-bodied in taste, so a little goes a long way.







Pasta has been a fundamental part of Italian cuisine for centuries. Typically made from durum wheat (a hard, slowly-digesting type of wheat) and water, pasta comes in dozens of shapes and sizes. Pasta can also be made fresh with flour and eggs. For a guide to different varieties of pasta check out the Pasta guide.






Olives are used in many ways in Italian cuisine. They can be added to stews, bakes, pasta dishes and risottos, sliced and used as a pizza topping, made into a paste for spreading on bread or eaten as a snack or as part of an antipasto dish. Green olives are young unripe olives, while black olives are fully matured.











Beans such as cannellini beans (left) and chickpeas (far left) are eaten regularly throughout Italy. They can be used in soups, stews, bakes, pasta and rice dishes and in salads. Canned beans are the most convenient to use because they require no lengthy pre-soaking.








Anchovies are convenient to use in the canned or jarred form. They add a rich, salty flavor to food and are ideal as a pizza topping and used to accent the flavor of pasta dishes such as Pasta puttanesca.







Tuna is one of the most popular types of fish in Italian cookery. Using canned tuna as a substitute for fresh is a convenient and cost effective way of enjoying this type of fish on a regular basis. It can be used in pasta dishes, stews, bakes, risottos, antipasto, as a pizza topping or broken into chunks and added to salads.





Rice has been a popular grain food, particularly in northern Italy, for centuries. The most famous Italian rice dish is risotto, which is made with medium or short grain rice like arborio. Long-grain rice is also used in various dishes including Insalata di riso (Italian rice salad).









Artichoke hearts

Artichoke hearts are available plain or marinated. They are a delicious addition to pasta dishes, pizzas, risottos, salads, or served as part of an antipasto platter.




Sun-dried tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes add flavor and texture to a variety of Italian dishes. They also make a wonderful appetizer or snack when combined with a little thinly sliced cheese.








Pine nuts

Pine nuts are the rich, creamy seeds of certain evergreen pine trees. Their mild pine like flavor is enhanced by toasting and they can be sprinkled over salads, added to pasta dishes and bakes or combined with olive oil, basil, garlic and Parmesan cheese to make pesto sauce.




Dried oregano

Dried oregano is used as a flavor enhancer in many types of dishes such as stews, pastas, pizzas, and bakes.










Capers are the pickled flower buds of a Mediterranean plant. They are commonly used in Italian dishes to add a characteristic piquant flavor.




Peeled tomatoes

Peeled tomatoes are used in stews, bakes, pasta dishes and pizza sauce. Canned peeled tomatoes are the most convenient to use.