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Northern or Southern Italian cooking class?

danionavenue Feb 7, 2012 01:05 PM

I have 2 options Northern or Southern Italian cooking.
Does anyone have a preference? I can't make an educated decision to be honest:)
Thanks!

  1. danionavenue Feb 9, 2012 03:47 PM

    what one to you thinks lends itself more for me having people over for dinner in the future?

    2 Replies
    1. re: danionavenue
      Bada Bing Feb 9, 2012 03:58 PM

      If you're thinking of large groups--say, more than 6--I think that several northern-list items--gnocchi, calamari, polenta and risotto--can be bit more of a challenge to make, for various reasons ranging from needing to be served right away to being harder to make in quantity. The southern list looks to be an easier party menu.

      That said, I would go northern, because there seem to be more intricacies and debates concerning the preparation of those dishes. I'd expect to learn more personally in the Northern course. But that's me.

      1. re: Bada Bing
        danionavenue Feb 10, 2012 09:41 AM

        shoot! I may have to take both then.

    2. danionavenue Feb 9, 2012 03:42 PM

      They replied .
      Northern: gnocchi, polenta, calamari, branzino, veal, risotto, tiramisu
      Southern: bruschetta, eggplant parm., cannelloni, swordfish, rabbit, canoli, amaretto parfait

      decisions decisions....

      1 Reply
      1. re: danionavenue
        b
        bob96 Feb 9, 2012 03:48 PM

        Either sounds great, but many if not most dishes could be from either end of the country. Gnocchi is famously Roman, branzino made all along the coast, cannelloni are thought of as northern, not southern, rabbit is common in Liguria as well as Campania, and tiramisu is a national dessert. That said, enjoy the classes and the flavors and have fun.

      2. danionavenue Feb 8, 2012 05:44 AM

        I am going to call and get more information on the dishes offered. For $300 plus dollars it should be in the damn class description :)

        5 Replies
        1. re: danionavenue
          f
          freia Feb 8, 2012 06:52 AM

          EXACTLY. Then just go with what interests you! And let us know what's on the menu!

          1. re: danionavenue
            Bada Bing Feb 8, 2012 07:38 AM

            Wow, that's serious money. I'd want to know pretty exactly what lies in store.

            I've only attended one or two cooking demonstrations at my local upscale supermarket (which has a kitchen for courses), and in each case, I felt the level of instruction was pitched too low for it to be very educational for me. The gathering itself can be entertaining. But for $300, I'd want to know the substance of the event in advance.

            1. re: Bada Bing
              danionavenue Feb 8, 2012 08:48 AM

              It is a 6 week course, meeting once a week for 4 hours. It is a continuing education class at george brown culinary school in Toronto.

              1. re: danionavenue
                Bada Bing Feb 8, 2012 09:02 AM

                Well, now that sounds like a pretty good deal! Still, see if they have menus or at least a regional plan (Bologna week, Venice week, etc.).

            2. re: danionavenue
              rockandroller1 Feb 8, 2012 09:50 AM

              I agree with this. I mean, for $300, they should include at least a few of the examples.

              Knowing what I do of the 2 (which is not much, but some), I would probably pick southern as that's more what my tastes tend towards, but I think you probably can't go wrong with either one as long as it's a good instructor.

            3. f
              freia Feb 8, 2012 04:49 AM

              You'd have to know exactly what is being offered in terms of recipes before making a choice. Northern Italian to me means Piedmonte, so fairly germanic in character. Southern Italian to me means Sicilian which is a whole different arena.
              Hard to say...just depends what piques your personal interest.

              1. b
                bob96 Feb 7, 2012 07:28 PM

                It all depends on what you mean by "northern" and "southern".There are no really valid distinctions so broadly made. Is "northern" Piedmont, Venice, Friuli, Liguria, all very different styles and repertoires? Rice does not figure in Liguria, for example, while it does in Piedmont. Olive oil does, however. Or is "southern" Neapolitan urban or Basilicatan/Puglian country rustic? And aren't Tuscan and Umbrian "central"?The ingredient base should be OK for either, save for rare perishables like fresh truffles and even buffalo mozzarella (though if Costco can cary this cheese, you should find it somewhere). It's the range of tastes, ingredients, and styles that really should determine your investment---if you like the dishes being taught, go for it. You can always take the next course. There's no right or wrong, even speaking as a Calabrian-American who'd lose no sleep if he never had a fresh truffle.

                1. Bada Bing Feb 7, 2012 03:19 PM

                  Without information about what they're making, it's hard to judge the level, and of course, north and south are both potentially terrific.

                  You appear to post in Midwest boards (like me). I will suggest that if you are not close to a source of excellent seafoods, I'd pick the northern course, where a greater proportion of ingredients match your local environment or are more transportable/storable.

                  For example, you can obtain terrific prosciutto, parmigiana cheese and meats in the midwest, but good luck landing some excellent buffalo mozzarella or dry-packed sardines (southern Italy favorites). That said, if the ingredients are solid, you're off to a great start either way.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bada Bing
                    danionavenue Feb 7, 2012 03:57 PM

                    good tips!

                  2. e
                    escondido123 Feb 7, 2012 02:28 PM

                    I would think you are more likely to see rice dishes, butter rather than olive oil, and maybe fewer pasta dishes. At least that's what I see when I compare my Northern and Southern Italian cookbooks, but I think I'd want to see what they'll be teaching. Isn't that available?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: escondido123
                      danionavenue Feb 7, 2012 02:31 PM

                      no sadly, it just says meals desserts and appetizers commonly found in Northern Italy and same for the Southern Italy class :/

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